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Robert Grant op Lurg. 

FroiN Portrait at LmtU (J rant. 










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My reasons for writing this book were (i) my love for Abernethy, 
where the best years of my life have been spent, where my 
children were born, and where the dust of my dearest kindred 
lies ; (2) my knowledge of the parish and people, gathered 
during my own time, and from tradition, which, unless preserved 
by me, might have perished; (3) my desire to leave some 
memorial of my connection with the parish, and of my gratitude 
to the people for much kindness shewn to me and mine during 
the thirty-six years of my ministry amongst them. In pursuing 
my task I have received much aid and sympathy from friends, 
which I desire gratefully to acknowledge. To the Countess 
Dowager of Seafield I am especially indebted for the use of 
papers at Castle Grant, and for permission to make extracts 
from •' The Chiefs of Grant." 

The labour of many years is ended. To me it has been a 
delight to tell, however imperfectly, of bygone days, of people 
whom I have known and loved, and 

* To speak of you, ye mountains and ye lakes, 
And sounding cataracts, ye mists and winds. 
That dwell among the hills where I was born." 

Mansk of Abkrnkthv. 
Christ mas y 1899. 


Chapter. Pack. 

I. Introductory Sketch of Parish ....... i 

II. Notes ou Natural History 7 

III. Place Names 20 

IV. Notes on Folk Lore 33 

V. The Cairns and their Traditions 45 

VI. The Lochs and their Legends 52 

VII. The Wells and their Witcheries 60 

VIII. Lands and Land-holders 64 

IX. Traditions of the Origins of Families 78 

X. The Kirks of Abernethy and Kincardine .... 87 
XI. The Succession in the Church, with Notices of Three 

Notable Parsons 96 

XII. Schools and Schoolmasters 106 

XIII. Scraps from an Old Session Record 114 

XIV. The Oldest Castle in vScotland 127 

XV. Holy Mar>' of Lurg 132 

XVI. In the Days of the Baron Bailies 138 

XVII. Coulnakyle and its Memories 149 

XVIII. Side Lights on the Social Life of Last Centur>- 159 

XIX. In the Baron's Chair 164 

XX. John Roy Stewart 170 

XXL Stories of Culloden 178 

XXIL The Story of a Highland Glen 185 

XXIII. The Stewarts of Glenmore 192 

XXIV. The Golden Groves of Abernethy 198 

XXV. Roads and Bridges 204 

XXVI. The Thieves* Road, with Incidents by the way . . .210 

XXVII. Ceannard nan Ceameach — The Chief of the Caterans . . 217 


Chapter. PAcf. 

XXVIII. Grouse and Deer 222 

XXIX. Memorable Years 226 

XXX. The Great Flood of Twenty-nine 232 

XXXI. Counsels to Young Men 237 

XXXII. Our Han>ert Glendinnings 240 

XXXIII. Parish Characters 250 

XXXIV. The Grants' Raid to EIkiu 258 

XXXV. A Day on Caimgomi 263 

XXXVI. Parish Music 275 

XXXVII. Our Bards, with Specimens of their Work .... 282 

XXXVIII. Forest Fairlies 292 

XXXIX. Old Highland Arts and Industries 301) 

XL. All the Year Round 306 

XLI. Ower the Muir amang the Heather 314 

XLII. Weather Signs and Saws 320 

XUII. Goats and Goat-Milk 326 

XLIV. The Three John Mores 351 

XLV. Volunteering— Old and New 336 

XLVI. Rise of a Highland Village 343 

XI.VII. A Highland Ivaird of the Olden Time 350 

XLVIII. The Cheer>ble Brothers 357 

XLIX. Visitors to Strathspey 364 

L. The Sithean of the Double Outlook 373 


NoTKi,p. 42. The Leanabh Ileach 377 

2, p. 42. Mearad an da-shealladh 377 

3, p. 42. Morgund 377 

4, p. 71. Ann Cameron 378 

5, p. 90. Incised Stones 379 

6, p. 93. Leper Window 380 

7, p. 112. Society Schools 380 

8, p. 112. Free Education 380 

9, p, 142. Regality Court Books 381 

(iONTENT& xi. 


Note io, p. 197. Inventoo' of James Stuart 381 

„ II, p. 202. Aaron Hill 382 

„ 12, p. 221. Macfarlane*s Lantern 383 

., 13, p. 225. Shooting Tenants and Local Rates .... 383 
„ 14, p. 262. The Grants* Raid to Elgin (Ballad) .383 

„ 15, p. 263. The Iron Mill Croft 386 

,. 16, p. 341. Colonel Camiichael 387 

»» 17. P- 337- Vacant Stipends and Schools 387 

Appendix I. — Gaelic and English Songs — 

I. The Highland Maiden's Lament for her Lover . 38Ji 

II. TuUoch Tragedy 389 

III. John Roy Stewart's Songs 392 

"Latha Chuilodair," "Oran Eile," "Urmagh Iain 
Ruadh," "Cumhadh do Bhan Tigheama Mhic-an- 
Toisich," ** Oran do Mhic Ailpin." 

IV. William Smith's Songs 402 

" Burag-na-Lairig," " Marbhrann do dithis Sheal- 
gairean," '^Oran Seilge," "Love Song," " Bertidh 
dhonn," '* Allt-an-Lochan Uaine," with English trans- 

V. "The Lads Lost on the Hill" 4" 

VI. Ruidhle ni6r Shraspe (Robert Grant) 413 

VII. Main bhan Oig (William Forsyth) 414 

Appendix II.— Men and Dogs 416 

„ IIL — An Inverness Merchant of the Olden Time . . . 422 
IV. — Roll of Captain Lawson's Armed Association Company 

in the Parish of Abernethy 426 

Roll of the Western Abernethy Anned Association 

Company 42H 

„ v.— Ledger of Rental of Abernethy, Crop 181 7 .431 

„ VI.— Parish Statistics 435 

„ VII. — Distinguished Career of an Abernethy Man . . 436 




Robert Grant of Lurg (trom Portrait at Castle Grant) Frontispiece 

Old Schoolhouse no 

Castle Roy 129, 131 

Memorial Stone by " The Men of Duthil " 133 

The Gallows Tree 140 

The Marquis of Strathspey 182 

Fac-siniile of Certificate by Abemethy Kirk-Session, in favour of 

Robert Stuart, Forester of Glenmore, 1743 193 

Fac-siniile Letter from Duke of Gordon to James Stewart, Forester, 

Glenmore, 1728 225 

Inchtomach 264 

The Shelter Stone, Glen Avon 273 

Weeping Firs 294 

Peter Porter (Tree) 295 

Sir James Grant 337 

From Frescoe by Landseer 349 

Colonel Thornton's Monster Pike 369 

Linn of Inn(^, Bridge of Brown 372 

I ncised Stones, Congash 378, 379 




The united Parish of Abernethy and Kincardine is about sixteen 
miles long and twelve broad. It lies along the east side of the 
Spey, and is bounded on the south by Rothiemurchus, the march 
running by the west end of Loch Morlich, past the Castle Hill to 
the top of Cairngorm, and on the east and north-east by the 
parishes of Tomintoul, Kirkmichael, and Cromdale. Abernethy 
was originally in Morayshire. In the Old Statistical Account 
(1792), it is said : ** It is a little remarkable that at the south-east 
point of this parish, between Glenlochy and Glenbroun, the 
Shires of Inverness, Murray and BanfiF meet, so that when stand- 
ing on the Bridge of Brown one may throw a stone into any of 
the three counties." Another version of the story was that the 
parsons of the three contiguous parishes used sometimes to meet 
on the bridge, shake hands, and drink a cup of kindness, each 
standing on his own ground. It is curious to find a parallel to 
this in Italy, at the Proto-de-Fame, where the dioceses of Trento, 
Verona and Brescia meet, but the point of meeting is a lake, not 
a bridge. So it is recorded by Dante : — 

•* At midway of that lake, where he who bears 
Of Trento's flock the pastoral staff, with him 
Of Brescia, and the Veronese might each, 
Passing that way, his benediction give." 

Another parallel may be found in the Shire Stones, near the 
source of the River Duddon, in England, of which Wordsworth 


writes: ''They stand by the wayside at the top of the Wrynose 
Pass, and it used to be reckoned a proud thing to say that, by 
touching them at the same time with feet and hands, one had 
been in three counties at once" — Westmoreland, Cumberland, 
and Lancashire. In 1870 a change was made in the county 
marches ; Abemethj' was transferred to Inverness-shire, so that 
since then the whole parish, including Kincardine, is in the same 
county. But by a clause in the Act of Parliament, certain advan- 
tages enjoyed from being in Morayshire, specially the right of 
the public school to share in the benefits of ''The Dick Bequest 
Fund," and the admission of children to the Elgin Institution, 
were preserved. Sir Walter Scott's famous lines may be said 
fairly to depict the main features of the parish— 

" Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, 
Land of the mountain and the flood." 

The "brown heath" stretches for fifteen miles from Cromdale Hill 
by Connage, the Plottas, and Sliamore, to the wilds of the Caip- 
lich. Where can be found finer specimens of the ** shaggy wood " 
than in the forests of Glenmore and Tulloch, and on the rugged 
slopes of Craigmore and Cam-chnuic? The "flood" is well 
represented by the Spey and the Nethy, Loch Garten, Loch 
Morlich and Loch Pytoulish. For the "mountain," there is the 
ridge of hills that divides Kincardine, and the far grander range 
that encircles Abemethy, beginning with the bold peak of Sgorr- 
gaothidh at the east ; then the Geal-charn ; then Bynack rising 
like a gigantic pyramid from the plain of the Larig, and cul- 
minating in the snowy corries and dark-frowning glories of Glen 
Avon and Cairngorm. The character of the scenery in the lower 
grounds varies much according to the time of the year. In early 
summer the browns and the greens predominate ; the brown of 
the moors, and the green of the pine-woods and the meadows, 
which gives rather a sombre cast to the scene. But as summer 
passes into autumn there is a change ; the moors glow with the 
bloom of the heather, and the saffron of the larch, the golden 


tresses of the birch, and the purple of the mountain ash, and 
the fields covered with yellow corn, break the monotony, and 
give a rich variety of colour to the landscape. Winter also, 
though it has generally a predominance of white, has also its 
infinite diversities and changes of aspect. In viewing scenery, 
much depends upon the standpoint 'Taking the old road from 
the parish church to the manse, you have a magnificent view of 
the valley of the Spey and its ** brotherhood of ancient moun- 
tains." Standing at a higher point, on the brow of the hill above 
Milton, you look out, as from a window, on the wide sweep of 
the forest from Craigmore to the Torr, and away south to 
Tomghobhainn and Carn-bheithir. Miss Gordon Gumming, the 
great traveller, said of this view that it was one of the finest 
"sylvan scenes" she had ever seen. From the south-east face 
of Rhynettan, the view is different. You see before you the 
valley of the Nethy, with great breadths of moor on each side^ 
gully after gully, and terrace rising above terrace, till the ancient 
labours of glacier and flood are mixed and lost amid the roots 
of the mountains. From a still higher standpoint, as from the 
top of Bynack and Cairngorm, whilst the view is greatly widened, 
reaching to the sea and the far-off lands of Sutherland and 
Caithness, the aspect of the country immediately below is 
completely altered. The houses are few and far between, the 
cultivated land dwindles to strips and patches, and gloom and 
desolation seem to cover the vast spaces of heath and mountain. 
The configuration is largely accounted for by the character 
of the rocks, and the geological changes which have taken 
place in the course of the ages. Along the Spey are latge 
alluvial deposits, forming the meadows of Garten, Coulnakyle, 
and Balliemore. Higher up there are mosses of great 
extent, as at Garten, Clachaig, and the Plottas. Then 
higher still there are enormous accumulations of drift, through 
which the Nethy, Dorback, and Altmore, have cut their way. 
It seems probable that the whole of the basin opposite Curr had 
at one time been covered by a vast lake, stretching back to the 


heights of Badenoch (the drowned land), which had gradually 
contracted, or formed a chain of lakes as the water sank to lower 
levels. There are indications of this in the remaining lochs, such 
as Loch Insh (721), Loch Alvie (700), Loch Garten (726), and the 
terraces so beautifully marked at Pytoulish (674, 700. 800), and 
other places on both sides of the Spey. The first outlet for this 
lake, on this side, may have been at the pass leading to the Crasg 
and Glenbroun. Next there was the gorge at Lynbreck, and the 
narrow valley past Lynmore and Ballinluig. Lower there is the 
Slockd of Bachdcham opening out on Balliefurth and Achemack. 
Then lower still are the terraces of Craigmore and Culriach, 
marking the levels at which the water stood for ages before it 
had made the passage by which the Spey now runs past Inver- 
allan and Achnagonaln. These points are all worthy of study, 
and something might be learnt by a comparison of their heights 
with those of similar terraces in Strathspey and Badenoch, or 
even with the mysterious Roads of Glenroy, which have been for 
so long a perplexity and puzzle to geologists. The Glen 
Roy terraces are three in number: (i) 1140; (2) 1059, cf. Loch 
Morlich, 1046; (3) 847, cf, Loch-an-Eilan, 840. The follow- 
ing valuable notes on the geology of Abemethy have been 
kindly furnished by Mr Lionel Hinxman, with the permission of 
the Director-General of H. M. Geological Survey : — 

"The greater part of the area included in the parish is 
occupied by the metamorphic rocks — mica schists, quartz schists, 
and quartzites — of the Highlands. Of these rocks are formed 
the range of hills that runs eastwards from Loch Phitiulais to the 
head of Glen More, Carn Bheur, the Geal Cham, and the high 
ground of the Braes of Abernethy, extending northwards to the 
Cromdale Hills. The predominant rock over this area is mica 
schist, varying in character from a coarse gneissose schist to a 
fine-grained flagstone, such as the rocks seen at the Bridge of 
Brown, and on Cnoc Fergan, further to the east. 

"In the deep gorges cut by the Ailnack water and its tribu- 
tary, the Allt Dearcaige, bands of quartzite alternate with the 


mica schist. The quartzite is often deeply reddened with oxide 
of iron, as is denoted by the name Cam Ruadh-bruaich — the Red 
Brae. With the quartzite are associated bands of dark schist, 
containing graphite and grey crystalline limestone, which at one 
spot near the ford of the Ailnack becomes a white marble. 
Another band of limestone crops out along the course of the Allt 
lomadaidh between Rynetnich and Strancamemich, and extends 
thence to the south-east along the slopes of the Cam Fhir Odhair. 
Limestone is also found near Ballantruim and Sliabhchlach, and 
at vSpeybridge. 

" A coarse conglomerate of old red sandstone age covers the 
western slopes of Glen Brown to the south of Curr, and can be 
seen in the ravines cut by the burns on the hill sides at Crask. 

**The granite of the Cairngorm mountains appears in the 
extreme south of the parish, the northern boundary of the 
igneous rock running eastwards from the foot of the Larig Pass, 
through Glen More, to the head of the water at Caiplich. It 
crosses Strath Nethy between Sgor na h' lolaire and Sron Chano, 
the red granite of the latter contrasting strongly with the dark 
shattered precipices of mica schist that form the * Eagle's Rock.* 

** The Cairngorm granite is a moderately coarse-grained red 
or pinkish rock, composed chiefly of quartz and felspar, with a 
little black mica. The well-known 'Cairngorm stones' are 
quartz cr>'stals, coloured in various shades with iron. They 
occur in cavities in the granite, but are more often found loose 
among the sandy debris on the mountain tops. The rock 
disintegrates freely under the action of atmospheric agencies, 
while the harder portions often weather out into huge castellated 
masses, like the Bams of Ben Bynac and the smaller tors on 
the summit of Cairngorm. 

** Small isolated masses of granite appear through the schists 
on the Torr Hill, near Loch Garten, and on the hill above Revack 
Lodge, while a larger intrusion occupies the southern and western 
slopes of the Baddoch, in the Braes of Aberaethy. The granite 
at the last-named locality passes at the head of Allt lomadaidh 


into a rock of a peculiar aud interesting character. It has been 
described as an augite-diorite, and contains large cr>'stals of 
augite with a beautiful silky lustre. 

"Evidences of former glacial action are found everywhere 
throughout the district. The valley of the Nethy is filled with a 
vast accumulation of gravelly drift, brought down in the first 
instance by the glaciers descending from the Cairngorms, and 
subsequently rolled out and dressed into successive terraces by 
the torrents flowing from the melting ice. The silent process of 
denudation still goes on as the Nethy cuts its ever-deepening 
channel through these ancient deposits, bearing the waste of the 
mountains down to the Spey. 

** Higher terraces, seen here and there far up on the hill 
slopes, mark the successive levels of the skrinking glaciers, the 
interval between the ice and the hill-side having been filled up 
with water and ice-borne materials. These lateral moraines are 
conspicuous at the head of Glen More, under Mam Suim, and 
round the head waters of the Faishellach Burn. 

**The fine sand and silt deposits along the Dorback Burn below 
the lodge probably indicate the site of a glacial lake, whose 
waters, dammed up on the west by the ice coming down Strath 
Nethy, may have escaped by the now dry gorge of Lynbreck. 

"Glacial striae, i,e,, the scratches made on the rocks by stones 
embedded in the moving ice, are not frequent, owing to the 
rapid disintegration of the surface of the granite on the high 
mountains and the drift-covering on the lower hills. They may, 
however, be observed on the top of Creag Phitinlais, near the 
march fence, and on Creaggowrie. In both places they point 
north-east, and indicate the direction in which the ice moved 
down the valley." 




The Rev. Lachlan Shaw, in his History of Moray (1770), says: 
"There were Wolves in this country 300 years ago, but now 
there are none. There are still in this province Foxes, Badgers, 
Martens, Squirrels, Weasels, Whitrats, Wild-cats." He adds : 
"The ravenous and carnivorous wild fowls are numerous. Among 
them the Eagle is called with us the King of Birds. Hawks, 
Gleds, Stenchils, Ravens, Crows, Rooks, Magpies, &c., are 
numerous. The harmless wild fowls are the Swan, Caperkylic, 
called also the Cock of the Wood." The Wolf was at one time a 
terror, as appears from Acts of Parliament, and even Church 
Litanies. When the last Wolf was killed is a disputed question. 
Almost every parish in the north has its legend on the subject. 
Moy claims the honour for Macqueen of PoU-a-Chrocain, about 
the beginning of last century ; Duthil, on the other hand, alleges 
that the feat was performed by a woman, the guidwife of Lochan- 
huUy, with no better weapon than a gridiron ! Abernethy also 
has its legend connected with Coire Mhadaidh, the Wolf's Hollow, 
in Kincardine Slugan. Of the animals mentioned by Shaw, some 
were extinct in his day, and some have since disappeared. 

Sixty years ago the Wild-cat was not uncommon. It is now 
extinct. One of the last was killed at Eas-na-feannaige, the 
Water-fall of the Hooded Crow, on the Nethy, by the late 
William Grant, Balmeanach. Another was destroyed somewhat 
earlier at Sleighich. It had been preying on the poultry. One 
morning some ducks were missed. There was snow on the 
ground, and the cat was tracked to its den, which was under the 
gnarled roots of an ancient fir. It was dug out, killed, and laid 
on the bank before the house. The goodwife, Mrs Fyfe, who had 


been nursing her wrath, came hurriedly out, spurtle in hand, 
when she heard the news, and heartily belaboured the beast, 
accompanying each blow with cries of mingled rage and delight. 
Revenge was sweet sixty years ago. 

Kites, called in the country Gleds (G. Claviham, from the 
forked tail), were common. It was a pretty sight to watch them 
hunting the stubbles in autumn — 

" Kites that swim sublime, 
In still repeated circles screaming loud " — (Cowper.) 

— and to mark the unerring skill with which they struck their 
prey, though it might be only some tiny mouse or burrowing 

Sixty years ago the Woodpecker might be heard at work in the 
forest "making stiller by its sound the inviolable quietness." — 
(Shelley J Nothing now remains to tell of its history but the 
oval-shaped holes, which may be found in some of the older trees. 

Sixty years ago the Osprey was a yearly visitor. There is a 
knoll on the Alltmore, which was probably of old one of its 
haunts, as it bears the name of Torr-an-Iasgair, the Torr of the 
Fisher, or Fish Eagle. There were, at least, two other places 
in which the Osprey used to build down to the middle of the 
century. One of these was on the Nethy, near the Big Dam, 
where a pair had their nest on a solitar>' fir. It is said their 
favourite fishing-place was where the Nethy enters the Spey. 
James Glas (Grant), ferryman, Broomhill, used to watch them. 
When they had their young, the male bird came down morning 
and evening, and, after soaring about for a little, would make a 
dash at a fish, and seldom in vain. Holding its prey fast with its 
talons, it would rise up high in air, and sweep away grandly to 
its haunt in the hills. Once a curious thing happened. A 
young man of the name of Stewart took in hand to get the eggs 
for some greedy collector. The tree was hard to climb, as it was 
thick and branchless, but Stewart was equal to the task. Bit by 
bit he made his way up. The eagles at first kept aloof, but 


watchful. Soon they were roused. Their screams became loud 
and angry. Nearer and nearer they swept in their circlings, till 
the poor lad could feel the swoop of their wings. At last he 
reached the top, and, his head just projecting above the nest, he 
put out his hand to seize the eggs. This was too much. The 
mother-bird made a fierce dash at him. Fortunately, her talons 
only pierced his bonnet, which she bore off in triumph. But he 
got such a fright that he hurried down, glad to leave the nest 
unharried if he himself escaped. The other haunt of the Osprey 
was at Loch Morlich. The remains of the nest may still be seen 
on the bough of a huge fir, overhanging the water, at the south- 
east side of the loch. The tree is called Craobh-yia-h! lolaire, 
the Eagle's Tree ; but it has been deserted for some years, the 
birds having been shot, or scared away by persistent plundering 
of the nest. Loch-an-Eilan, in Rothiemurchus, is now perhaps 
the only resort of the osprey. and long may it find the old castle 
a safe retreat and home for its young. 

Sixty years ago the Badger was not uncommon. One of its 
best known haunts was at Lynmagilbert. near the Forest Lodge. 
Here at the foot of a steep bank it had its den, from which it 
sallied forth on its nightly excursions. It is now very scarce — if 
not extinct. Probably the demand for skins to make sporrans 
for Highland dresses hastened its destruction. 

The history of the Hedgehog is curious. Sixty years ago it 
seemed extinct. The skin of one killed in Tulloch used to hang 
on a passage wall at the Dell as a great curiosity, and strange 
stories were told of the habits of the animal, and especially of its 
fondness for apples. Some years later the hedgehog quietly 
reappeared. Since then it is not uncommon, though from its 
nocturnal habits and shyness it is seldom seen. There is a 
Gaelic saying as to the hedgehog : '* Cnuasachd na ^raincigy 
This, says Armstrong, is ** expressive of the folly of worldly- 
minded people who part with all at the grave, as the hedgehog 
is compelled to drop its burden of crab-apples at the narrow 


entrance of its hole." Shakespeare in " Measure for Measure *' 
(Act III., i), has a similar sentiment :— 

" If thou art rich — thou art poor, 
For like an ass, whose back with ingots bows, 
Thou bear'st thy heav>' burden but a journey, 
And death unloads thee'' 

There has been much contention as to Squirreis, whether they 
are indigenous or not. Mr Harvie Brown has considered the 
question with much care ; but with people who knew the country 
well, there was never any doubt as to the matter. Three 
things may be stated. First, for the last sixty years it is con- 
sistent with the knowledge of persons still living that squirrels 
have existed continuously in Abernethy. They may have been 
less numerous at times, and in some districts, perhaps after 
severe winters, but in the old pine forests, and where cones were 
abundant, they were always to be found. Next Shaw (1770) says : 
** The Squirrel is a pretty, sportive, harmless creature ; it is a kind 
of wood weasel, haunts the fir tiees; if you toss chips or sticks 
at it, it will toss pieces of bark back again, and thus sports with 
you ; if it is driven out of a tree, and, skipping into another, finds 
the distance too great, it turns back to its former lodge, its bushy 
tail serving for a sail or wings to it " There may be doubt as to 
the accuracy of the Rev. Lachlan's description of the squirrel's 
gymnastic feats, but there can be no question as to the fact of its 
being in his day a common denizen of the woods. Then further 
back still there are proofs of the commonness of the squirrel in 
the place-names of the parish. To give one instance, there is a 
croft on the Altmore, a mile above the Manse, a bright sunny spot 
facing the south, admired by many, which is called '' Ruigh-na- 
feoraige,'' the Ruigh or haunt of the squirrel, a name which can 
be traced back for more than two hundred years. The squirrel 
is sometimes very destructive to young trees, and is being merci- 
lessly shot down ; but we would miss it sadly if it were gone from 
our woods. 


The Polecat or Foumart {G, Taghan) has disappeared. The 
last is said to have been trapped in Glenmore in i860. The 
Pine-mariefi is also gone, but from its wandering habits stray 
individuals are occasionally seen. The Stoal and the Weasel 
(G. Neas) are still with us. So also is the Otter. Its track may 
often be seen by the Altmore, and sometimes a dead salmon, 
from which it has taken the bite it loves best — from the back of 
the neck — may be found lying on the bank of the Spey. The 
Fox still holds its own, notwithstanding the long and merciless 
war that has been waged against him. 

Shaw says of the Capercailie that it is "properly in Erse 
(Gaelic) ' Capal-coille' i.e.y the Wood Horse, being the chief 
fowl of the woods. He resembles, and is of the size of, a turkey 
cock, of a dark grey, and red about the eyes. He lodges in 
bushy fir-trees, and is ver>' shy. But the hen, which is much 
less in size, lays her eggs in the heather, where they are destroyed 
by foxes and wild cats, and thereby the Caperkylie is become 
rare. His flesh is tender and delicious, though somewhat of a 
resinous taste.*' That the same high opinion of the flesh of the 
capercailie was entertained by others, and that it was thought a 
dish fit to set before a king, is proved from official letters at 
Castle Grant. Thus in a letter, 22nd March, 1617, addressed by the 
Privy Council to the I^aird of Grant, it is said : ** After oure verie 
hairtlie commendationies. By His Majestie's letter whiche you 
shall heirwith ressave, you will persaeve how eimist his Majestie 
is to haif some Capercaillies and termigants sent to his Majestie, 
and to meet his Majestie be the way in his comeing to this 
countrey, and thairfor we haif thoght meete to accompany his 
Majestie's letter with this of ouris, eirnistlie requeisting and 
desiring you to use the best means you can to gett some resoun- 
able provision and stoir of each kynd of thir foulis, and to haif 
thame in this toun freshe and callour, upon the xxv. day of 
Aprile next to come preceislie, quhich is the preceis day that we 
haif appointit thame to be heir, to the effect ordour may be tane 
for the tymous and seasounable dispatche of the same to his 


Majestie to New Castell ; and to the effect you may come the 
better speid in this bussynes, thir presentis sal be ane warrant 
unto 3'ou and your serv^andis for shoiting and slaying of thir 
fouUis with gunnis." The Goshawk was also in request. 
John, second Earl of Mar, in a letter to Sir John Grant of 
Freuchie, dated Holyrood House, 25th July, 1623, says—** I 
cannot all this tyme send you my sleuth biche, for shee is 
presentlie with hir quhelps, bott I shall prowyd aine for you, 
with all diligens. I will not be contented give ye send me n(»tt 
ether a Halk or a tersell of Gosallk, an ye var never so scaunt, 
bott ether send thaem soon or nocht. and I shall give your man 
his drink sillar.'* In another letter, 1st May, 1624, the Earl says 
— ** I pray you forgett nott sum of your halkis to me this yeir, and 
the souner I gett them (efter they may be caried) the better." 
Then the Earl of Glencairn, Chancellor of Scotland, writes with 
a similar request, 13th October, 1660, for, after thanking the Laird 
for keeping peace in his bounds, he adds in a postscript—** If you 
can procure or send me one good tirsell of gooshauke with the 
first possible conveniency I shall accompt the same a speciall 

The Goshawk seems to be now extinct, but it existed so late 
as Colonel Thornton's days, who says — **The forest formed by 
Glenmore and Rothiemurchus produces some noble fir trees, and 
is an asylum for stags and roe-bucks ; in it are also some eyiies 
of Goos-hawks, some of which I saw.** In 1849, Mr St John 
writes — " The only place where I know of its breeding regularly 
is the forest of Darnaway ; but I am told that they also breed in 
the large fir woods near the Spey'' ; and again, later, in ** Natural 
History and Sport in Moray,** he says — ** A few years ago it bred 
regularly in the forest of Darnaway, and it may still do so. It 
also breeds in the forest of Glenmore, near Grantown, on the 
Spey." The Goshawk and the Peregrine may have been some- 
times confounded. The latter breeds on the Ailnag, and has an 
eyrie on the cliffs above the Green Loch, Glenmore. 


The Golden Eagle is still a denizen of our mountains. One of 
its eyries is on the Ailnag, and there is another on the cliif called 
Stac na-K lolaire, the Eagle's Stack. Visitors may still, though 
rarely, be gratified by a sight of this noble bird in their rambles 
among the mountains. Perhaps they see it passing far overhead, 
and hear its scream mellowed by distance. Perhaps they watch 
with admiration its calm and majestic flight, till with a fresh 
impulse it sweeps fleetly forward, dips over a hill ridge, and is 
gone. Long may Hogg's words prove true — 

" Where the Eagle comes forth on the wings of the storm, 
And her young ones are hatched on the high Cairngorm." 

Something may be said of such birds as are more commonly 
met with. By our streams the stately Heron may often be seen 
stalking in the shallows, or winging its flight to the Heronry at 
Cam-chnuic ; or you may catch a glimpse of the Water-hen, as it 
steals in and out from the deep shady pools ; or you may watch 
with delight the lively movements of the Dipper (G. Gobhainn 
dubh), as, wnth a cock of its dumpy tail, it flits from stone to 
stone, or pursues its prey, diver-like, under the water. If there 
be a steep sand-bank, it is sure to be haunted by Martins, The 
Ring Ouzel (G. Lbn-dubK) loves the upper reaches, and here and 
there one may be seen perched on a boulder, or flitting about, 
with ceaseless chatter, by the side of some mountain stream. It 
is this bird, seemingly, which Dr Paterson has denounced as a 
thief in that delightful book, **The Manse Garden"— ** A most 
pestilent fellow, a moor blackbird, without any coral on his bill, 
sooty, tuneless, and ill-shaped, has of late years, like the old 
invaders of Italy, found the fruit of our gardens better than that 
of his native wilds, and, having once tasted the cherry, he cannot 
forget the flavour of it. He comes, a host, exactly at the season 
of ripe fruit, and never fails, with an angry chatter when he is 
disturbed, to intimate that you are as annoying to him as he is to 

The whistle of the Plover, the shrill cry of the Curlew, and 
the bold ** burr " of the Grouse-Cock may be heard on our moors* 


The lochs and lochans swarm with Gulls and Ducks, and some- 
times a Swan may be seen on the Spey or Loch Garten, as on 

" Still St Mar>''s lake. 
Float double, swan and shadow." 

Our pine forests are for the most part rather chill and wanting 
in life ; but now and again you may start the Black Cock ; and 
where the birch and the alder grow, and in the clumps of wood 
and juniper, you may find abundance of 77/5, and be cheered by 
the song of the Linnet and the Thrush, 

Five species of Tits are aescribed by Harvie Brown as fre- 
quenting Speyside. In Abernethy the most common are the 
Blue Tit and the Cole Tit, The Great Tit, the handsomest as it 
is the boldest, visits our gardens and farm steadings, and is often 
a guest at our windows in winter. The Long-tailed is not com- 
mon, but now and again it appears in companies in our birch- 
woods. The Crested Tit is called the rarest of all, as it is so 
limited in its range ; but in this parish it can hardly be regarded 
as very rare, as it is pretty generally distributed. Wherever a 
troop of Tits are seen feeding, with their companions the Creeper 
and the Goldeti-crested Wrai, there will be found also one or two 
Crested Tits, and the birds themselves may often be fallen in with, 
in pairs, in quiet nooks by the Altmore and the Nethy and in 
Glenmore. The nest of the Crested Tit, like others of the 
species, is made in the holes of trees, generally decaying birches 
and alders. Harvie Brown describes one ** in a powdery, decayed 
pine stump, barkless and bleached. The nesting site faced the 
east, but the entrance hole the south. Upon a basis of powdery 
dust, the nest (with five eggs) was composed of green dry moss, 
with a superstratum of red deer's hair. The lining was formed 
of blue hare's fur. The old nest had also feathers of the grouse 
in the lining, and tuft*^ of cotton grass in the structure" (v. I., 


Some of the other rarer and more interesting birds may be 
•mentioned. The Blackcap and Red-poll breed in our woods. 


The CrosS'bill frequents our firs and spruces. Its nests have 
been found as early as March. The Brambling, called by some 
the " Cock of the North," has been caught on the Nethy. The 
Wax wing, or Bohemian Chatterer, is an occasional visitor, and 
is supposed to be a premonitor of a severe winter. Two birds of 
this species, that had been feeding on rowan-berries, were shot 
in 1865 at Rivoan, on the verge of Cairngorm. The Roller 
(coracias gatrula), very common in Palestine, has been seen 
once or twice, and a specimen was killed, in J875, on the moors 
beyond Craigmore. The Kingfisher is rarely found north of the 
Grampians ; but there is record of one having been seen some 
sixty years ago on the Croftmore burn, Kincardine, and another 
on the Nethy at Coulnakyle in 1890. 

** Among the more interesting birds breeding in Abernethy," 
writes Mr. Hinxman, "are the Snow-bunling BnA Doilerel, a few 
pair of these birds nesting annually among the high Cairn- 
gorms. The Greenshank is seen about the * forest lochans,' and 
the large and handsome diving duck, the Goosander, is increasing 
as a breeding species in Glenmore, where it nests in hollow trees 
in the woods around Loch Morlich, the nest being sometimes 
situated twelve or fifteen feet above the ground." 

There was at one time a large rookery in the alders at Coul- 
nakyle. Captain Macdonald, then holding the farm (1826), 
vowed its destruction. He hired a squad of men and boys, and 
set them to work. The boys tore down the nests, and the men 
kept up a constant fusilade, so as to prevent the rooks from 
settling. The war went on for some days. Now and again a 
bird came too near and fell a prey to the marksmen, but the 
most were wary, and kept at a safe distance. At last the 
rooks seemed to recognise that they were beaten. They held a 
gathering in a neighbouring field. There was much cawing and 
conferring, but no reporter to give their speeches. The question 
was in due time settled. The rooks, as if acting under orders, 
arose and flew towards the alders, but in.stead of settling on the 
trees, they mounted up high above, so as to be safe from all 


harm. Then they went through a kind of march, sailing calmly 
to and fro, and doubtless casting many a longing glance on their 
old homes. By and by they altered their tune. The march 
became a quickstep, merging into a wild, whirling, commingling 
dance. It was, as a spectator described it, for all the world like 
a "ReelofTulloch'':— 

** The dancers quick and quicker flew, 
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit." 

Then suddenly there was a stop — with a great caw-cawing. 
Then utter quietness. Out from the rest flew a leader, took his 
place in front, and, like an arrow from a bow, started off. The 
others fell into line and followed. Silently the whole body 
winged their flight straight for the Boat of Cromdale, where, in 
the fir-wood over the Spey, they established their new home, and 
where, unmolested, they have dwelt from generation to genera- 
tion ever since. The Highlanders hold that it is unlucky to 
disturb a rooker>'; and it was noted that Captain Macdonald, 
some years after, had reluctantly to flit from Coulnakyle, and to 
make his home at Clur}-, which he never loved so well. 

Botanic A I. Note. 

The parish, from its centrical position, and as including land 
and water, and low and high grounds ranging from 700 to 
upwards of 4000 feet above sea-level, has rather a varied flora. 
Some of the more interesting plants may be named. The Rock 
Rose {Helianihemum vulgare), the Sol Flower of the Highlands ; 
the Loose Strife {Lysimachia nemontni)', the Golden Rod {Solidago 
virgtiarea) ; and the delicately-tinted Grass of Parnassus {Pamassia 
pulustris), with fine specimens of the Bird Cherry {prunus padus) ^ 
conspicuous in June for its sprays of snow-white blossoms, may 
be found on the Alltmore. The Globe Flower ( Troliius Europants), 
the Cowslip {primula veris), the Bedstraw (^Galium verum, G. 
Boreale), and the Briar {Rosa inodora, R, eglanteria) grow on the 
banks of the Spey, opposite Boat of Garten. The Sweet Gale 


{Myrica gale) scents our bogs, while near it may be found the 
Cotton Grass {Eriophorum vaginatum), the Asphodel {Narthecium 
ossi/raguni), and the two varieties of the Sun-dew {Drosera 
rotundifolia and D. Anglica). In our woods flourish the Goody era 
Orchis, rare in England, the Oak Fern {polypodium dryopteris), 
and the lovely little Winter Green {jTrientalis Europad), one of 
the stars that in earth's firmament do shine. Other orchids that 
occur are Listera Cordata, among heather in woods and moors ;^ 
Orchis Latifolia and O, Maculaia^ in moist meadows ; gymnadenia 
conopsea, Habenaria albida^ and H. viridis, in dry pastures ; also 
H, bifoliay in most meadows and woods. The Gromwell {L.ythos- 
permum officinale) grows at Nethy-Bridge, where it is said to have 
been introduced by the York Company in 1730. The mystic 
Moon-wort (Botrychium lunaria)^ the Lady's Slipper {Alchemilla 
vulgaris^ and the rarer and prettier A. Alpina are found in our 
hill pastures. If a leaf of the Alchemilla be immersed in water, 
and examined, it will shew the most delicate rainbow tints 
flashing over the surface. The Bog-bean {Menyanthes trifoliate^), 
the roots of which are used for making a tonic bitter, the Yellow 
Iris (/. pseud'€u:orus\ the Lobelia (Z. dortmanna), and the glorious 
Water Lily {Nymphcea Alba) flourish abundantly in some of our 

The Ailnag, the Garvault, Bynack, and Cairngorm, are our 
finest grounds for Alpine flora. The following plants have been 
found in these localities: The Mountain Sorrel {Oxyria reni- 
formis), Alpine Rock Cress {arabis petraa). Marsh Speedwell 
(^Veronica scutellaia), Alpine Speedwell (F. Alpina), Mossy 
Cyphel {Cherleria sedoides), twisted podded Whitlow Grass 
(JDraba incana\ and the still rarer D. rupesttis, the Scottish 
Asphodel {Tofieldia palustris), Scurvy Grass {Cochlearia green- 
landica). Dwarf Cornel (Comus suecica), Bladder Fern {Cystop- 
teris fragilis). Holly Fern (^polystichum lonchitis), Spleenwort, 
Aspleniutn viride, A . trichomanes, and the A . Ruta-tnuraria, at Castle 
Roy and the Ailnag, Alpine Polypody (/. alpestre). Saxifrages 
(5. Stellaris, S. oppositi/olia^ S. Rivularis, S. Aizoides, S. hyp^ 


7wides\ Stonecrops {Sedum villosum, and the beautiful purple 
S, rhodioid). Rushes, the Three-leaved {/uneus irifidus), the 
Curved Mountain Rush {Luzula spicata, and the rarer L. aicu- 
aid). Grasses {Phieum Alpinum, Poa Aipina, Ait a Alpina, Carcx 
approximata, C\ limosd). Dwarf Willow (salix herbaced), and 
Dwarf Birch {Betula nana), the true Cranberry ( Vacinium oxy- 
cocos), also the Great Bilberry ( V, uliginosum) ; Iceland Moss 
^Ceiraria hlandicd), and the beautiful white l^ichen (C, nivalis) ; 
the former fruits freely on the moors at the fool of Bynack, but 
the latter occurs always barren ; the Quilhvort ^Isoetcs lacustris)^ 
and Awl wort {Subulafia aquaiica). 

Among other Alpine and moorland plants may be mentioned 
the Mountain Bramble or Cloudberry (^Rubus Chatnatnorus), 
Azalea procumbetis. Genista Anglica^ Silaie acaulis, Utricularia 
intertnedia, Empetrum nigrum, Arctostaphylos-uva-ursi, Ranunai- 
lus flammula, aud Herb Paris imparls quadrifoUa), found near the 
Green Loch in 1883. There are certain plants which have the 
remarkable peculiarity of growing both on mountain tops aud 
on the sea-coast. ** As examples may be named the Rose-root 
Stone Crop (^Sedum Rhodiold), which grows in various localities 
from 2500 feet upwards, and also near the Bullers of Buchan, on 
the coast; the purple Mountain Saxifrage (5. Opposili/olid), 
not scarce on the higher hills, and again occurring on rocks at 
Aberdour, on the coast; and the Common Thrift (Anneria 
Mantinid), Possibly such peculiarities of distribution may be 
explained by the plants in both localities finding the competition 
with other plants for food and space less severe in their favourite 
haunts than elsewhere'* (^Professor Trail), The Thrift is called 
by the Celts ** Cluasag MnirCy' Mar>'*s Pillow. Our most prized 
and rarest plants are the Linncca borcalis, with its lovely pale- 
pink bell flowers, which grows amongst the ancient firs of 
Craigmore ; the Lysimachia I 'idgaris, which was found by Dr 
Mactier of St Andrews, near Pytoulish ; the Dwarf Orchid (JAi/- 
axis palludosd), which grows on the Dorback ; and the single- 
flowered Winter Green {pyrola uniflora), which was, till lately. 


growing profusely on the south side of I/)ch Morlich (^. secunda 
and p. rotundifolia, are also found in Glenmore (see Druce). 
We say ** till lately," for the place has been ruthlessly plundered, 
and few plants left. An English clergyman is said to have 
carried off whole basketfulls. He has merited the scorn hurled 
at the " British Botanist " by a certain rhymster : — 

** Were it the sweetest plant that ever bloom'd, 
If it were rare, and he found the spot, 
He'd make it rarer; nay, it would be doom'd, 
His spud would soon eradicate the lot'' 




** Words are the servants of things/* says Jeremy Taylor. But 
the words may remain when the things have passed away. 
Names taken from the sea may be found where the waves no 
longer roll. Memorials of the wolf and the wild boar may 
exist where these animals have been long extinct. So it is with 
peoples and races. The past is found in the present, and the 
present might be found in the past. We have an illustration of 
this in the early books of the Old Testament. There we find 
many interesting notices of the naming of places, and signs of 
the old giving place to the new. The patriarchs in their wander- 
ings, and the Israelites in their march through the wilderness, 
and in their conquest of Canaan, often gave names to places 
which for some reason or other had become memorable in their 
histor}\ Some instances may be quoted. Bcersheha (Gen. xxi. 
31), where Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech, is the 
** Well of the* Oath." The mount where the ram was sacrificed 
instead of Isaac (Gen. xxii. 14), was cd\\^6. Jekovah Jireh, "The 
Lord will provide." Oi Bethel it is said (Gen. xxviii. 19; c/, 
Judg. i. 23), "The name of that city was called Luz at the 
first." Massak (Exod. xvii. 7) is "The Temptation." Achor 
(Josh. vii. 26) is "Trouble." Bochim (Judg. ii. 5) is "The 
Weepers " ; and Kirjath-jearim, which was first called K. Bcuii, 
was afterwards, in honour of Samson, called the Camp of Dan 
(Judg. xviii. 12). In Genesis xxvi. 18, the touching statement is 
made, as to certain wells restored by Isaac, ''And he called their 
nafnes after the names by which his father had called thetn'' Some- 
thing of the same kind took place in England in the days of the 
Noimans, and similar changes may be traced in Scotland and 


the Highlands. Our parish being so far inland, and fenced round 
by mountains, was less exposed to such influences than others 
along the coast. Sigurd, Torphin, and other Norsemen, may 
again and again have ravaged the sea-board, but they could not 
have penetrated far into the glens and uplands. Malcolm IV., 
according to Fordun, carried off ** the whole nation of the Mor- 
avienses from the land of their birth, as of old Nebuchadnezzar, 
King of Babylon, had done with the Jews." But this, if not a 
fable, is a great exaggeration, and whatever eviction took place, 
could not have extended far beyond "the Laich" of Moray. 
Even the wave of Dalriadic Scots that swept over Argyll spent 
Its force in the West, and broke in spray on the hills of Perth 
and Inverness. It never reached Speyside. At the same time 
our parish could not but be more or less affected by the struggles 
of rival monarchs, and the strifes of contending factions and 
clans. The influx of strangers also, and the changes in the social 
and industrial habits of the people, have made their mark here as 
elsewhere. Our parish is called The United Parish of Abemethy 
and Kincardine, and these names might of themselves furnish 
much scope for inquiry. The River Nethy, which runs from 
Cairngorm to the Spey, about sixteen miles, gives its name to 
the parish. The word is obscure. In Gaelic it is '' Neithichr 
and has been variously explained. Some connect it with 
•'Neithe," the God of the Waters, and others with "Nectan," 
the Pictish King, whose name is associated with the more 
famous Abemethy in Perthshire. Others again conjecture that 
it comes from an obsolete word, Neith, force, or nimh, venom. 
The Rev.John Grant (1792) says: "The meaning is not known ; " 
but, on the other hand, Shaw, the historian, a high authority, 
gives the meaning as "the impetuous washy river," seemingly 
from the Gaelic words feith, a stream, and fiadhaich, fierce, 
turbulent; pronounced, when taken together, '^'N Jheith-fhiad- 
haichr The remark of Skene is worth keeping in view : ** Names 
of rivers, usually root-words, are sometimes so archaic thai it is diffi- 
cult to fix their meaningr Probably "Nethy" is from a Pictish 


root, and there are traces of the same root in the Nith in Ayr- 
shire, Abemyte and Abemethy in Perthshire, and Invemethie in 
Aberdeenshire. The word Aber has led to endless controversy. 
Taylor has said : " If we draw a line across a map from a point 
a little south of Inverary to one a little north of Aberdeen, we 
shall find that, with very few exceptions, the Invers lie to the 
north of the line and the Abers to the south of it." But this 
dictum cannot stand on Speyside. Facts are against it "Aber " 
and *' Inver" are found all up and down the Spey. There is an 
Invereshie in Badenoch. an Inverlaidnan in Duthil, and an Inver- 
druie in Rothiemurchus. Then come the parishes of Abemethy 
and Inverallan, on opposite sides of the Spey. Then lower down 
there is the parish of Inveravon, and next to it that of Aber- 
lour. The names seem to alternate, but the Invers are undoubt- 
edly more numerous than the Abers. Professor Rhys, in a letter 
to the author, says : " With regard to Aber, you have to discard 
all that has been said of the word by historians, who undertake 
to dabble in etymology without any training ; for instance, trust 
the native pronunciation, which you say is obair, and not aber. 
This last has, perhaps, been imported as the spelling usual in 
Welsh. When, moreover, they say that inbher is Gaelic and 
Irish, and Aber is Welsh, that is only a misleading and half 
truth, for inbher \s not only Gaelic, but also Welsh (spelled ^«/5?f) ; 
and, on the other hand, Aber is not only Welsh, but also Gaelic 
(and probably Irish). . . . The only sense in which the his- 
torians' assertion is true amounts to this : yn/er is not a common 
word in Welsh, and obair not common in Gaelic, except in proper 
names of places. . . . Inbhir or inver is from ber, of the same 
origin as Latin ferre; and inbhir should be in-put^ so to say, or 
the place where one river flows into another, or into the sea. 
The etymology of the other word is od-ber^ and it was the aut-pui, 
so to say, of one water into another. From od-ber the oldest 
Welsh form of the word was open ; later, it became oper and aber. 
So you see that your obair comes nearer the original than what 
the historians wish you to write SLsAber after the Kymric fashion, 


though I should by no means wish to say that obair may not 
become abair or aber sometimes, or perhaps often." 

The late James Munro, one of our best Gaelic scholars, says 
in his ** Treoraiche " (1843) : " Ynver, Wei. Yn mer in mhar {uisge 
ann an uisge) ; Abar, Wei. Aber (awbior, uisge ri h' Uisge." 

Kincardine is also a difficult word. The name is found in 
Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, Ross-shire, and Moray (Pluscardin). 
It is usual to connect it with lyrchardus, but there is no evidence 
that this saint, famous at Kincardine O'Neil, had anything 
to do with our Kincardine. In the Old Statistical Account, the 
word is explained *' Tribe of Friends " ; but this interpretation, 
though complimentary to the people, cannot be maintained. 
The word, when analysed, is found to consist of three parts: 
I. A7«, the locative case of ceann, head; 2. Card, which has the 
accent, indicating the lOot, which may be from an obsolete word, 
card, thicket, which is found in Welsh; and 3, the suffix an. 
The meaning would be — the head of the thicket or brake. It should 
be noted that there are several other Kins in the neighbourhood. 
On the opposite side of the Spey is Kinchirdy {caorunn (?) 
rowan), and Kinveachy (beith, birch), and higher up, Kingussie, 
Kincraig, and Kinrara. The latter hill, with the Duke of Gordon 
monument on the top, stands out prominently, and is seen far 
down Speyside. It has been suggested that Kinrara may mean 
Kin (or Ceann) da-shrath, the head of the two Straths. 

Leaving this debateable ground, as Shakespeare has it, ** We 
will, fair Queen, up to the mountain top." In an old Gaelic song 
the bard, who is supposed to be standing on the summit of 
Cairngorm, gives a graphic description of the view. Here is a 
fragment — 

'* Chi mi poit a Ghlinne-mhoir 
Chi mi Bo-chonaich, 's Beag-ghleann, 
Chi mi Gleann Ennich an fneidh. 
Par am bitheadh an spreidh air eadradh." 

There are several names here of interest. Poit^ a pot; Bo-chonaich, 
the mossy bow or bend ; Beggian, the little glen, as contrasted 


with Glenmore, the big glen. The last line is specially good. It 
calls up a picture of old times. *• Eadradh," r.^., Edar and Troth, 
between times, is a technical term, used of the time of milking, 
of separating the lambs, and here, in the larger sense of the 
season, when the flocks were taken to the glens for summering — 
a time of pleasant meetings, looked forward to with eagerness by 
the young, and looked back upon with pensive regrets by the 
old ; a time of simple, pastoral life and beauty, which the poets, 
from Virgil to Ramsay, and our own Mrs Grant of Laggan, have 
loved to depict. We have the phrase '' eadradh'* in the dear old 
lilt of Crodh-CAai7«>i. 

*"S n'uair thigeadh am feasgar, 
'S \vaL eadradh nan laogh. 
Gun tig mo ghaol dachaidh 
N deigh bhi cosgradh an fheidh." 

Cairngorm (4084) is the highest point in our parish, and is one of 
the best known of our Highland hills. The old name was 
"Monadh ruadh," red or ruddy, in contradistinction to the 
" Monadh-liath," grey, on the north side of the Spey. The other 
principal hills are Sgorr-gaofhaidh (2602), '*The Windy Sgorr," 
which, standing out prominently, may be said to catch every 
wind that blows ; Gealcharn (2692), the white hill, probably from its 
quartz rocks ; Bynack (3296), beintC eige, the hill of the notch or 
cleft, which rises grandly like a pyramid from the platform of the 
Larig; and of the lower ranges, Meall-bhuachaill (2654), the 
herd's hill ; Catn-Bheitkir (2656), the serpent hill ; and Creag- 
ghobhraidh (2237), ^^ goat's hill ; and Mhtnsuim (2394). Mam is a 
large round hill (Lat. mamma, mother, breast). Suim is a difficult 
word. Duncan M' In tyre has the line, ** Far am bitheadh 
an tuadh len suim," where it seems to mean flocks or herds. 
We have no end of "Tomms" and ••Tomans," ••Cnocs" and 
*• Cnocans," ••Creags " and •'Creagans," •* Lochs" and ••Lochans," 
••Torrs" and ^'Torrans." Torr is a common word for a little 
hill of conical form, and is found not only in the north, but in the 
south as far as Devonshire. Bynack may be said to be the centre 


of the region of the ** Eags." The Ailnag, into which the 
Caiplich runs, is the Burn-of-the-Eag (or it may be from ail obs. 
for rock), and the tremendous rock gorge which the water has 
cut in the course of the ages, makes the name very appropriate. 
Then there are the **Eags" on the '* Thieves' Road" ("Rathad- 
nam-mearleach "). First, the Eag-rnhhr, a long narrow gorge in 
the Braes west of Dorback ; next the Eag-chait, the haunt of the 
wild cat, on the edge of Cam Bheithir, where John Roy Stewart 
is said to have hid his gun. Then there is the Eag-garbh-chaire^ 
on the eastern side of Cairngorm, and Eag-coire-na^comhlach, the 
corrie of the meeting, on the west. Certain of these ** Eags " 
seem as if they marked the line of an old water course. Perhaps, 
where caterans drove their prey, there may once have been some 
** ancient river." Tennyson sings — 

** There rolls the deep where grew the tree. 
O Earth ! what changes hast thou seen ? 
There where the long street roars, hath been 
The stillness of the central sea." 

And an older and greater than the Laureate has much the same 

idea — 

** When I have seen the hungry ocean gain 
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, 
And the firm soil win of the watery main. 
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store." 

We have several Clacks. On the road to Easter TuUoch there 
is C.-na-Criche, marking the old march between the counties of 
Inverness and Moray. There is a C.-na-h' Ulaidh, in the fence at 
the east end of Balliefurth plantation, where a treasure is said to 
have been found long ago. Opposite Rhymore there is a stone 
called C.-an-lriuchasdaich ; it has a hole in it, and was, of old, 
resorted to for the cure of whooping-cough. There stood, some 
years ago, two huge granite boulders, facing each other, on 
opposite sides of the road to Kincardine, near Knock, which 
bore the name of Clackan-peathrichean, the sister stones ; and on 
the old Church Road there was another splendid specimen, called 


C-na-K analachy the resting-stoiie, where people used to rest and 
have a " crack " on their way from church ; but these have 
disappeared, being broken up for railway use in 1862. At the top 
of a ridge on the west slope of Cairngorm, above Coire-chaorunn, 
is C'hhrraig, sometimes incorrectly called Parruig or Peter. 
The name is from bhrr, top. There is a similar boulder resting 
on the hill above Beglan, in Glenmore, which bears the strange 
name of C. an-iuniaich^ the stone of the hellish man. Tradition 
says that a certain man, who had his bothy near this stone, was 
so notorious for malice and cruelty that he was called ** lumach," 
and so gave the name to the stone. Both these boulders, the one 
of granite and the other of schyst, are beautifully illustrative of 
Wordsworth's famous lines — 

** As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie 
Couched on the bald top of an eminence ; 
Wonder to all who do the same espy 
By what means it could thither come, and whence ; 
So that it seems a thing imbued with sense ; 
Like a sea beasi crawled forth that on a shelf 
Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself." 

The Gaelic words for a well are Fuaran and Tobair. They 
are noticed elsewhere. 

From wells to streams is a natural transition. Feith is often 
explained as a "bog." The word means a sinew or vein, 
and is strictly descriptive of small streams winding their way 
through the mosses and bogs. Of such we have several. In 
Glenmore there is the Feith-dhubh (black) ; on the Nethy is the 
Feitk-seilick (willows) ; and a stream that runs, not from a bog 
but a loch, to the Spey, in Kincardine, has the same name. 

Next to " feith" is Caockan, streamlet, perhaps from *• caoch," 
blind. Of this we have several with some descriptive adjective 
attached, such as Caochan-dubh (black) ; C fiaclach, (jagged- 
tooth-like) ; C ghuib (from gob, a bill or mouth) ; (7. nan-Easgan 
(eel) ; C na-saobhidh (the fox-den). Of " AUts " there are many, 
such 2sfiarbh'allt (rough) ; Crom-alU (crooked) ; Glas-alU (g^rey) ; 


Fionn-allt (the fair bum); Ant-allt bhn (white or fair); A. 
iomadaidh, A. Clais an Etch (hollow of the horse) ; Allt-ghealaidh, 
probably from bealaldh, broom, A. dearcaige, berry. Mr Macbain 
suggests that **allt" is properly a height or glen side, and allied 
to "altus" (Latin). 

Some names of streams have the ending '' ag," a diminutive, 
but which may be a contraction of ''amhainn." There is a 
Rabhag that runs into Loch-Morlich, and a LuinagWiQH runs out 
of it, and that joining the Bennie, at Coylum (Coimh-leum)— 
(leaping together), forms the Druie. Then we have the Dubhag 
(dark), and the Dorback, tributaries of the Nethy. The latter is 
in Gaelic Doirbag, same as Dorback that fiows from Lochandorb, 
and seems derived from doirb (do-soirbh, harsh, mischievous 
Doirbheag, is a cross, ill-tempertd woman). This exactly 
describes its character. It has a short run, and comes down at 
times with great quickness and force. It is said that a farmer 
who had suffered much from its depredations, used to make this 
part of his daily prayer, "From the storms of Gealcharn, the 
floods of Dorback, and the wrath of the factor, good I/)rd, 
deliver us." The climax is significant. The storm was bad, the 
flood was worse, but the wrath of the factor was worst of all. 
Times are changed. The power of the factor is still great, but it 
is not dreaded as it used to be. The Celt is going back to the 
faith of his fathers, Is treasa tuath na tighcartia, "Tenants are 
stronger than lairds." 

Names are often descriptive. In some cases they are pure 
word pictures, such as Sithan-dubk-da-choimhead, the sithan of 
the double outlook; in others they mark some peculiarity of 
form, colour, or situation. One place is called Litb-Aiiinn, from 
the juniper growing in it richly ; another is Coire-chui/ion, from 
the holly, now rare in the district; another is TotnchalUuinn, 
from the hazel ; another is Culraineach, as abounding in fern, and 
so on. 

Names are given not only from plants but also from animals. 
We have Creag-an-fhithich to mark the haunt of the raven; 


Torr^an-iasgair^ the ospreys ton*; and Stac na k-Iolairt, the 
eagle's eyrie. We have also Lag-mhadaidh and Foil-mhuc^ also 
Miic-rach, to mark where the wolf and the wild boar once had 
their dens ; and Creagan-chaii^ Ruigh-na-feoraige, Innis-broc, 
Cacihanna-saohhtdh (den), indicating the haunts of the wild 
cat, the squirrel, the badger, and the fox. 

Many names are given on the principle of resemblance. Some 
are taken from the bodily organs. The face, aodainn ; the nose, 
sron ; the throat, slugan ; the breast, uchd (sometimes confounded 
with uachdar, the surface, top) ; the back, druim ; the shank. 
lurg, and others have their representatives. Other names of a 
similar kind are an diallaid, the saddle, at the entrance to Glen- 
Avon ; An Crasg, an across place; Bathaich-fiontag^ the byre of 
Fiontag in Glenmore ; Sabhalan-Bhynaig, the bams of Bynack, 
huge granite rocks standing out like buildings; and Mudachan 
Chathno, the chimnej's of the Cath no on Cairngorm, where the 
rocks are worn so as to look like stalks of massive masonr>% piled 
up on the verge of the grand shelving precipices of the Garbhallt, 
precipitous, black, jagged rocks, for ever shattered, and the same 
for ever. They are well worthy of a visit, but lying apart from 
the ordinary track, they are generally overlooked. 

Deaths, murders, funerals, and incidents connected with social 
and church life are commemorated in names. The dominance of 
the old family of the Cummings is preserved in Castle Roy 
and the Mod Hill. The wars of Montrose are remembered in 
Campa Choll, Coll Kitto's Camp, and Tobair-nan-damais, a well 
near Forest Lodge, which bears this curious name from some 
soldiers having been seen there playing draughts at the time 
when Montrose and Argyll were playing hideand-seek in the 
woods of Abemethy (see Spalding, vol. ii.). The Roman Catholic 
times have their memorials in Tobair chailleach, the nuns' well ; 
Stair na manach, the monk's stepping stones ; Crois-patraig-an- 
Ailean, a wooden cross on the old road from Glenbroun, above 
Dirdow, marking where Peter of the Ailan's funeral had rested ; 
and Baile '« t-seipeil, Chapelton, in Tulloch, where there are the 


remain*? of a chapel. The Sassenachs who were engaged in the 
great wood and iron works of last century have left their mark 
here and there. There is a point in the Kincardine Slugan 
called Cadhaig Nicoll, where one of their men lost his life. The 
place where their forges were erected is still called Baile 
ghobhainn. Smith's town, and higher up on the Nethy is the Old 
Mill Croft, which Sir Thomas Dick I^auder has celebrated. 
There is also a spring of delicious water at the foot of 
the bank at Aldersyde, which, to mark the kindheartedness of 
a certain John Crowley, who had spent some pains in fencing 
and decorating it, still bears his name. 

Agriculture and the industrial and social habits of the people 
account for many names. The old name for Pytoulish was 
Pitgaldish. This may have been the original designation, Pit 
meaning **farm,*' "portion" (compare Book of Deer), land of 
Galdie. The word may have then changed to the descriptive 
form, pit being taken in its common sense of hollow (lyatin, 
puteuSy well). It is curious that at Pytoulish there are several 
very marked cup-like hollows, probably formed by boulders in 
the glacier age, and one of them, near the dwelling-house, has 
been ingeniously converted into a beautiful garden. The old 
people disliked the name Pytoulish as having an indelicate mean- 
ing in Gaelic, and substituted a less offensive form. This change 
may be compared with what is recorded as to the names of Baal 
and Molech, that is, I,ord and King, where the old names were 
changed as implying homage (Exod. xxiii. 13; xxxiv. 13-14; 
Numb, xxxii. 38; Hos. li. 17; Zech, xiii. 2). There is another 
^* Pit" in Kincardine, Pitvamie, {lom/camn, alder. The Pictish 
Pti gave place to Baf/e, and this word is found in many names. 
There is Baliiemcre, near the church, i.e», the " Big-town," being 
the principal farm, which used to be the residence of the bailie 
or factor. Then there is Balliefurth, the town of the port or 
ferry (Latin, porius\ where the old road to Inverallan and to 
Ballintomb, the gathering-place of the clan, crossed the Spey. 
Other names are B.-au' tuath^ the town of the tenants ; B.^nan^ 


Croitearan, the town of the crofters; B.-an-tuim, the town of the 
heap or hillock, perhaps of old a mote-hill ; B.-an-luig, the town 
of the hollow ; and B.-nan-croigean, the town of the frogs. Cul, 
back, and Cuil^ a comer, not easily distinguished, are often used 
as affixes. There are C-bhardaidh, the bard's croft ; CulnakyU, 
from Coille, a wood ; Culriack, from riack, grey ; and so on. 
There are several '' Achs'' — from achadh, a field. In Tulloch is 
The ** Ach,'' as if the field there had at one time stood alone in 
the waste, worthy of bearing the name from its ver>' singularity. 
Achemack (in Gaelic, Achiamag) was a notable place as the seat 
of the Clan Allan. The derivation is difficult. It may be Achy 
field ; iar^ west ; eag^ cleft — the field on the west of the cleft or 
gorge, and this exactly describes the situation. Achnaganalan, a 
little to the north, is equally difficult. There is a tradition that 
duels used to be fought here in a field by the Spey, and it may 
be that the name means ** the field of the duels," from Gaelic, gon, 
a wound ; or cotnhlann, a combat. Of Lointiy the locative case of 
lann^ a meadow or enclosure, there are several examples. Some 
of these may be given : Lynheg, beag, little ; and lower down, 
LynmorCy from mor, big ; Lynamer, from amar, a trough, channel, 
or mill-lead; Lyntna- gilbert, which commemorates some notable 
Gilbert's son ; and L.-torran nam-broc, from broc, badger. The 
Gaelic name of Birchfield is Chl'fnhuiilion, the back of the mill. 
There were several other mills, as AL-lon, in Kincardine, from loiu 
a marsh ; M,'garroch, from garbh, rough ; M, chalcaidh, the walk- 
mill; and M.'Cheardaidh, above Lettoch, once a carding-mill. 
The most notable was M.-Ghariinn — the mill of the Garlin. 
There are many "Ruighs" (an aim, slope, out-stretched part 
of a hill— a shieling) in the parish, indicating that the system 
of grazing and summering largely prevailed in the upper and 
hill districts. These ** Ruighs " or shielings were generally 
attached to the larger farms. Thus we have Ruigh-chaillcach, 
R.-nuidh, R^^leothaid, R,'tiaithin, R.-nirich, R^-miain, R.-nan- 
gillean-dubh (The Camerons), and so on. One place bears the 
pathetic name of R.-brtste-cridhe, the Ruigh of the broken hearts 


It IS on the north side of Meall bhuachaill, rugged and steep, 
and doubtless got the name from the difficulty of working it. 
Another croft in Kincardine has a similar name, Cfoii fia 
h-aimhleaSy the croft of misfortune (am-^leas), 

Eilan-eoim, on the Nethy, may be the place where barley was 
first grown. The Gaelic name of Nethy Bridge is Ceann-irochaid 
— Bridge-end. When the new bridge was built (1804), ^^^ ^^^t 
house erected was that of the Ceannaich, merchant ; then came the 
Ceatdaick, the smithy ; and then the Tigh-osda, the public-house. 
Now the place is the centre of a thriving village, with a post- 
office, telegraph, railway station, shops, and several handsome 
villas and cottages. 

Wordsworth says : "Two voices are there ; one is of the sea, 
one of the mountains, each a mighty voice," and this may be 
applied to our place names. Though far inland, we have names 
that echo the voice of the ocean, and form a link with its shores. 
Cambus is found ^nth us, as at the seaside. Innis, island, is also 
found, as in Inch-toniach, and Inch-droighinn (thorn). There is a 
narrow strip of bog in Kincardine which is called the " Caolan,*' 
or little gut, the same word which figures in so many of the kyles 
of the west. One of the corners of Loch-Garten is called Geothag^ 
little creek, which, Mr Macbain says, is from the Norse gja, a 
chasm ; and on the Altmore there are two crofts called the Upper 
and Lower Plottas, words which seem to have affinity with the 
floddas and ploddas of Sutherland and Ross. Another word 
which it is strange to find at the foot of the Cairngorm is Ros^ a 
headland. There is a ruined shieling near the Green* Loch, 
which is called Ruigh-da-ros, the Ruigh of the two points or 
promontories. An old story of this Ruigh may be given. About 
the end of last century there lived here a man called James 
Robertson. He had been in the army, and had a small pension- 
Being a hard man, and a woman-hater, he dwelt by himself quite 
alone. But he was believed to have a charm for healing sore 
eyes, and people sometimes came to him for help. Once a woman 
of the name of Macqueen took courage to call on him. She 


knocked timidly at the door, and was told in a harsh voice to 
come in. Robertson was mending his brogues. When he looked 
up and saw that it was a woman, he cried in a fur>% ''What 
brought you here/" The woman trembling told her errand. 
He paused for a moment, and then answered with a scowl, " I'll 
give you an obaidh (charm) that you wont forget." 

** Na faiceadh do shuil go brath 
'N darna te na sgladhair odhar 
An te eile na sgleodhair bhan." 

The woman rushed out, glad to escape with her life, but 
tradition says she never recovered her sight. She was ** Ealasaid- 
chhm^' to the end of her days. 




William Macdonald, who died about fifty years ago, was a 
native of Glenmore, where the family had resided for several 
generations. Like his father, he was a wright or cooper, and was 
commonly called Uilleam Saor, William the Carpenter. William 
was strongly built, with good features, and dark eyes that glowed 
like coals under shaggy brows, and shocks of dark snaky hair. 
He had an irritable temper, and when badly teased, as he some- 
times was by boys, he would break out into violent rages. At 
Christmas he used to make a round among his friends, selling 
cogs and tubs. On such occasions he was a welcome guest at 
the fireside, especially with the young, from his store of Gaelic 
songs and legends. William had one strange custom. There 
was a little glassy mound near his workshop, and to this he used 
to resort in the morning for his devotions. The first thing he 
did was to bow towards the sun, and then he said his prayers. 
He was once asked what he meant by bowing to the sun. His 
answer was Ma/ he did as his /a/hers had done before him. William 
Saor might therefore be called the last of our Sun worshippers, 
though with him the worship was simply the survival of an old 
custom which had lost its meaning. It may be mentioned that 
Sii Edwin Landseer, who was a frequent visitor at the Doune of 
Rothiemurchus when it was rented by the Duke and Duchess of 
Bedford, was much struck by William's figure, and that he has 
introduced him into his picture of *' The Bringing Home of the 

Beltane^ or May-day, was one of the chief days of the year. 
It is generally explained as Beil-ieine, Belus, or Baal fire ; but 
the word means, more probably, bright-fire^ or luck- fire. At Beltane 



the Gael used to kindle two fiies, and to drive their cattle between 
them for purification and good luck. Hence the saying : Eadat 
dh thcinc Bhcalltuifin, between the two fires of Beltane. Some 
modem authorities hold that Beltane, being the first day of May 
{Ccitdfi, the first of summer), was properly the beginning of the 
year, and that Earrach {eat-r, end). Spring, was the end of the 
year, when the old was passing into the new. Beltane was the 
day when young people used to roll bannocks, also for luck. 
The sunny slopes of the Nethy, and the old mill-bank at Balna- 
gown were favourite places for the sport. The bannocks were 
made of oatmeal, round as the moon, about an inch and a half 
thick, well baked, and covered with a rich coating of cream and 
^%%, Certain figures were cut on the surface, generally a cross 
on the one side, and a cipher on the other. Bannocks were 
baked for everj^ member of the family. The absent were remem- 
bered as well as those present. ** No distance breaks the tie of 
blood." The game was to roll the bannocks from a height, and 
when they settled, to mark which side was uppermost. If it was 
the side with the cross, this was a sign of good fortune ; if it was 
the cipher that came up, this indicated that the year would be 
unlucky. The bannocks were rolled thrice, and when the play 
was over, they were broken and eaten, and the fragments left 
were thrown up into the air, with the Gaelic words : — 

" Seall '5 do na //* uile eun beag tKanns an adhair 
A eh Dobhrag an t-shleibhy 
Ach gum b' ann a bhriseas ise Icth-cas 
Dol stigh air dorus a Maighstir feinr 

?>., ** Here's to every little bird of the air, save the snipe, but 
may she break her one foot going in at the door of her master." 
Why the snipe should have been thus singled out and put under 
ban is not known. One peculiar thing about the snipe is the 
number of names it has in Gaelic. It is called Naosga, Sgreueh- 
an-lhi, gobhaf-adhaif, Croman-lhn, ain-ghabhragy meannan-adhair, 
and so on. These names are descriptive, and refer to some 
peculiarity in the cry, mode of flight, and habits of the animal. 


It is sometimes said in derision of a man with many names, 
Tha uiread de ainmeanan air ris an naosg—'' He has as many 
names as the snipe." There are survivals, which seem connected 
with Bull-worship. On New Year's Eve the old people used 
anxiously to scan the sky for the appearance of what was some- 
times called the Candlemas Bull. It was believed that from the 
size and aspect of this cloud the weather for the year might be 
predicted. The first night of the year was called oidche dair 
na coille, the night of the impregnating of the wood, when life 
was everj'where being renewed. The Church seems to have 
taken up this notion, and to have connected it with the birth 
of Christ. The old Latin legend bore that the bees woke at 
Christmas from their winter sleep, and hummed a song of praise. 
The birds, and other animals after their kind, joined in the 
concert. The Cock crowed Christtis natus est, Christ is born. 
The Raven croaked Quando? when? The Crow cawed Hac 
node, this ni^ht. The Ox asked Ubi? where? The Sheep 
replied, Bethlehem ; and the Ass cried Eamus, let us go. 

On the first day of the year it was once customary to bum 
juniper in byres, stables, and house fire-places. This was done 
sixty years ago at the Dell, by Donald Cameron, grieve, a faithful 
old servant, who was indulged in his hannless ways. The burn- 
ing of juniper may have been originally for sanitary purposes, 
but it had also to do with old Church beliefs. In many parts of 
France and Italy the juniper is used instead of the holly at 
Christmas (6'. Nollaig, from nova, nouvelles, noel), and is hung 
in stables and cattle sheds. There is a legend that the Holy 
Family hid in a juniper bush from their pursuers when on the 
way to Egypt. Hence it is called by some "The Madonna's 
Bush." In China it is said to be an emblem of immortality. 
Some other plants were supposed to possess special virtues. 
The Stonecrop was set in the thatch of houses, and the Rowan, 
or Mountain Ash, was planted round dwelling-houses as a pro- 
tection against the fairies. The Rowan is one of the commonest 
of our native trees. The fir woods teem with myriads of little 


plants that have sprung up from seeds carried by birds, but few 
of them survive. In the struggle for existence they have no 
chance against the heather and the pine. But in more favour- 
able circumstances they thrive well. Sometimes single trees 
are found growing among the rocks, or by the water-side, and 
in autumn they glow with beauty. Wordsworth has painted 
such a scene with much felicity : — 

** No eye can overlook, when 'mid a grove 
Of yet unfaded trees, she lifts her head 
Decked with autumnal berries, that outshine 
Spring's richest blossoms ; and ye may have marked 
By brookside or solitary tarn, 
How she her station doth adorn ; the pool 
Glows at her feet, and all the glowing rocks 
Are brightened round her." 

Among wild animals some were loved and some were hated ; 
some were cherished, and others cursed. The IVren, the Robin, 
the CrosS'bili, and the Snotv-biintifi^r were held sacred. The 
Wren was called by the Celts the King of Birds, According to 
the old legend, the Birds, after consultation, agreed to make 
King the one that should fly the highest. The Eagle, of course, 
expected to win, but the Wren challenged it to the trial. Up, 
up, far beyond the rest, the Eagle soared, till it was lost to sight 
in the brilliance of the sun. Then it cried in scorn, Cait am 
bheil thu nis a Dhreathan duinn i ** Where are you now, little 
Wren ? " But the Wren had cunningly perched on the Eagle's 
back, and at this call took a further flight, crying out in triumph, 
Fadyfad, os do ckeafin, ** Far, far above you." So the Wren won 
the crown. The Robin was hallowed for its red breast, which 
had caught some of the blood from the Cross ; and the Cross-biii 
for its bill, which had been maimed by its loving endeavours to 
free our Lord from the accursed tree. The Sno^v-bunting (G. 
Gealag 'n t 'sneachdaidh) was also regarded as sacred, perhaps 
from its whiteness. The following legend is curious : —A certain 
man went one day to a Saint's Well (in Duthil) for water, when 


he saw a strange sight. There was a fire with a brazen pot 
hanging over it. The fire was made of dried horse-dung, like as 
is done in the East with camel-dung to this day, and the pot was 
filled with snow- bun tings. Around the fire were seated a number 
of iacharans — spirits of unbaptized children — clothed in white. 
The pot took the man's fancy, and he asked for it, but was 
refused. He repeated his request thrice, with certain forms, and 
then he was allowed to take the pot. but with a curse attached 
that it would bring ill-fortune along with it — Aach seasadh ati 
cohineamh Shraspe, ach aon bhonaid, gii ruidh trc al, dheth na 
thigeadh na dheigh, '* That there would not stand in the Gathering 
of Strathspey but one bonnet, for three generations, of those who 
should come after him." The man took the pot toClury, and for 
long Clury was believed to be an unlucky place. In recent times, 
however, it is evident the ban has passed away. At Clury, as 
elsewhere, " The hand of the diligent maketh rich." The little 
B/ack Beetle used to be held in abhorrence. The legend was that 
when the Holy Family were in flight to Egypt, the Virgin asked 
some people who were busy in a field to say to the pursuers, if 
they asked questions, that Joseph and his party had passed when 
the field was being sown. During the night the com sprang up, 
and next day was ready for the sickle. When the pursuers came 
and put their question, they were answered as the Virgin directed. 
Then said the Captain, "We need go no further." Whereupon 
the Beetle rose and called out. An d^, an d/, chaidh Mac Dhi 
seachad, " Yesterday, yesterday, the Son of God passed this way." 
For this baseness- the many suffering for the crime of the one — 
the Beetle is abhorred, and whenever he puts forth his black 
head, he is at once crushed, with the words of doom, A dhaolag, 
dhaolag, chanfhaic thu an Ih mhireach, ** Beetle, beetle, you won't 
see to-morrow." In this ancient legend we have embodied the 
undying hatred of all true Highlanders to meanness and 

The Woodpecker (G. mag: the tapper, from its light audible 
knock. The Creeper is called Snaig, from its creeping habit) 


was, in the memory of people still living, common in the pine- 
woods. Its brain was believed to be a cure for epilepsy. Perhaps 
this may have been on the principle of similia simiiibus. The 
brain of the bird that could balance itself and keep its head at 
such great heights, and with so little foothold, must have had 
some special virtue. The Woodpecker among the Romans was 
the bird of Mars, and sacred to Romulus. The patch of crimson 
on its head has been variously accounted for. Longfellow gives 
the legend current among the North American Indians in the 
Song of Hiawatha, where the grateful hero is said to have 

** Called the Mama, the Woodpecker, 
PVom his perch among the branches 
Of the melancholy pine-tree. 
And in honour of his ser\'ice. 
Stained with blood the tuft of feathers 
Of the little head of Mama. 
Even to this day he wears it. 
Wears the tuft of crimson feathers 
As a symbol of his sen'icer 

Charms of various kinds were in use till recently. Infants were 
passed through the smoke, and had a scarlet thread wnth three 
knots tied round the left arm for a protection (cf. Virgil, Eclogue, 
viii.)- Little crosses of rowan, and brooches in the form of a heart, 
were sewn into children's clothes for the sume purpose. Certain 
persons had Charms, believed to have been inherited, for the cure 
of ophthalmia, jaundice, ring-worm, and other diseases. The 
Evil Eye was greatly dreaded. This malign power descended in 
families. It wms an inherited and not a voluntar>' possession. 
An old lady of the Clan Allan Grants is well lemembered who 
would never enter a house or approach a child without first 
craving a benediction to avert all bad results. Lord Bacon, in 
his essay on ** JCnvy " (from Lit. invidiam \\\ and video, to look 
upon), says : — '* There be none of the aflections which have been 
known to fascinnte or bewitch but love and envy ; they both have 
vehement wishes : they frame themselves readily into imagina- 
tions and suggestions, and they come easily into the eye, especially 


upon the presence of the objects which are the points that conduce 
to fascination, if any such there be. We see, hkewise, the 
Scriptures calleth envy an Evil Eye." Perhaps Bacon refers to 
Mark vii., 21, 22, "Out of the heart of men proceedeth deceit, 
lasciviousness, an evil eye." But there are many other allusions 
to the Evil Eye in the Bible. The following texts may be men- 
tioned : — Deut. XV., 9 ; xxviii., 54 ; I. Sam. xviii., 9 ; Prov. xxiii., 
6; xxviii., 22; also Gal. iii., t, "Who hath bewitched you?" 
In this last text the Vulgate has fascinavit, for ** bewitched," 
which may be compared with the famous passage in Virgil 
(Ecc. ill., 103), Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agfios, 
**Some evil eye bewitches my tender lambs." The Latins called 
the Evil Eye ** Fascinum " ; the Greeks, ** Bascanion " ; the 
Celts, '* Suil-ghonaidh." It is referred to in Shakespeare. Biron 
says to Rosalind (** Love's Labour Lost," Act v., Sc. 2) : — 

" Write, Lord have tnercy on us, on those three : 
They are infected, in their heart it lies ; 
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes." 

And again, " There's an eye wounds like a leaden sword." Portia 
says to Ba.ssanio (** Merchant of Venice," Act iii., Sc. 2), ** Beshrew 
your eyes, they have overlooked me." In some parts of the country 
you may still hear sayings and forms of speech which imply this 
old belief If praise be given, or if it be said, ** I am glad to see 
you looking so well," it is often added, ** Afay I not forespeak you,'^ 
as a guard against evil consequences. There were many devices 
for defence against the Evil Eye. The Gaelic proverb says, 
Fltiich do shuil mu 'n gabh i air, '* Wet your eye, lest it light on 
him. ' The spittle was supposed to have a counteracting virtue. 
When baiting a hook, it used to be a common thing to spit on 
the worm for luck. We read in the Book of Judges (viii. 21) that 
Zebah and Zalmunna had moon-like ornaments on their camels, 
doubtless as amulets or charms ; and we have a survival of this 
custom in the crescent or half-moon still commonly used in the 
decoration of horses (cf. Isaiah iii., 18, ** Round tires like the 
moon" ; and Jer. xliv., 17-20, where cakes, round like the moon, 


were offered to the Queen of Heaven, similar to the minckah in 
the Mosaic ritual, the Ncideh in the Egyptian worship of the 
goddess Neith, and Arianis among the Greeks). In Roman 
Catholic countries the sign of the cross is used as a protraction ; 
and in Rome, where the belief in the Evnl Ej'e is common, the 
hand amulet, /.r., the index and little finger thrust out, with the 
thumb clasping the others, is the constant defence. F. Marion 
Crawford says, in his novel " Pietro Cherleri " :— *' It is a strange 
fact that at the present da)' such things should be believed, and 
well-nigh universally, by a cultured society of men and women. 
And yet it is a fact, and an undeniable one. Let it once get 
abroad that a man or woman * projects * (to translate the Italian. 
jeiia) the baneful influence which causes accidents of ever>' 
description, and he or she may as well bid farewell to society for 
ever. Such a person is shunned as one contaminated ; at his 
approach every hand is hidden to make the sign of defence ; 
no one will speak to him who can help it, and then always with 
concealed fingers kept rigidly bent in the orthodox fashion, or 
clasped upon a charm of proved efficiency. Few indeed are 
those brave enough to ask such an one to dinner, and they are 
CvSteemed almost miraculously fortunate if no misfortune befalls 
them during the succeeding twenty four hours, if their houses 
do not burn, and their children do not develop the measles. 
Incredible as it may appear to northern people, a man or woman 
may be socially ruined by the imputation of * projecting * when 
it is sustained by the coinciding of the very smallest accident 
with their presence, or with the mention of their names." The 
late Pope, Pius IXtli, was said to have inherited this gift, which 
caused him much trouble. Of Omens, Fore-goes, Corpse- candles 
and such like, it is unnecessary to say anything. The Corp- 
crcadha has been practised in the present century — in Inverness- 
shire thirty years ago, and in Ross-shire later still. The belief 
in Changelings, once common all over Europe (cf. Luther*s 
*' Table Talk "), existed till lately, and you may still hear old 
people cite instances in proof of the practice. In the ** Chiefs of 


Grant," a curious custom as to Fire is referred to as existing in 
Abemethy : — *' When any disease broke out among the cattle of 
a davoch, the fires in all the dwellings of that davoch had to be 
extinguished. This was supposed to aid in stamping out the 
disease. The fires were afterwards rekindled by the rubbing of 
sticks against the cupples of the byres in which the diseased 
cattle were kept." Shaw refers to this custom. 

Certain legends and sgeulachds are to be found, in some form 
or other, all over the Highlands. The belief in the virtues of the 
Whitt Serpent is not peculiar to Sutherland. In Abernethy the 
serpent is said to have been found in the Slochd of Bachdcharn. 
The legend of FingaPs heroes asleep in the cave, referred to by 
Sir Walter Scott and others, is still told amongst us, and it is 
connected with Poll-na-h! luchrach, "The Pool of the Key," on the 
Avon, into which the key was said to have been thrown by the 
craven adventurer, who failed to draw the sword before he blew 
the horn, and therefore left the Braves in a worse condition than 
that in which he found them. Michael Scott figures in Gaelic 
tales, and the story of how he rode to Rome (through the air) on 
his black mare and won the secret of the proper way of counting 
Fastem's E*en from the Pope, was often told. The story of the 
adventure with the Fairies, where the man who had entered the 
sithan, and taken part in the dance, found when he was rescued 
that the reel had lasted a twelvemonth, is also common. Another 
weird story—told with much graphic power by Hugh Miller in 
his •* Legends of Cromarty "— " The Wild Wife," is one of the 
favourite stories on Speyside. Miller connects it with Kirk- 
michael, in Ross-shire, but with us it has a local habitation and 
a name as the '* Legend of the Wife of Laggan," and the Kirkyard 
of Dalarossie, in Moy. 

As showing the connection of one part of the Highlands with 
another, the following incident may be mentioned. Talking 
with an old man, the late Peter Smith, Rinuigh, some thirty 
years ago, reference was made loflittings. Yes, he said, Sittings 
are expensive. Mar thuiri an Leanabh Ileach, as said the Childe 


of Islay when he was eating his piece, and his stepmother made 
him move from one side of the fireplace to the other. Chan eil 
an i'imrich is Ittgha, gun chall, " The least flitting is not without 
loss." He quoted also other sayings of the ** Leanabh." whose 
fame is in all the Highlands.^ Another saying savouring of the 
West, obtained from the late John Stewart, Acligourish, commonl)" 
called ** Gowrie," may be noted, which is significant in more ways 
than one : — Seachd sgadain, sath bradain ; sauh bradain saih rbin ; 
seachd rbin sath na Muic Mara ; seachd Mhuc-Mhara saih an 
Cinnian-Cfh ; scach Cinnian Cro, saih an Fhir-nach-Cbir^ "Seven 
herring a salmon's feed or meal {saih : sufficient ; cf. Lat. sai^ 
satis : enough) ; seven salmon a seaKs feed ; seven seal the feed 
of the sea-pig, or whale ; seven whales the feed of the Cinnian 
Cro ; seven Cinnian Cros the feed of the Fhirnach Coir." The 
last two names are untranslateable. Perhaps the first means, 
from the reference to the head full of eyes, or folds, the cuttle- 
fish or octopus. The other may mean, ** He that is not good," 
/.^., the Evil One ; or, *• He that ought not to be named," an 
euphemism for the Devil. The climax is ver\- suggestive. There 
is an air of mystery about the subject, a shrinking from the actual 
name, as if it were too horrible to be mentioned. 

Aubrey, in his book on ** Hernietick Philosophy," 1696, g^ves 
a letter from a student in divinity in Strathspey concerning the 
second-sight,^ which contains some curious stories. The follow- 
ing are extracts : — 

"The most remarkable of this Sort, that I hear of now, is one 
Archibald Mackeanyers, alias Mackdonald, living in Ardinmurch 
within Ten or Twenty Miles, or thereby, of Glencoe, and I was 
present my self, where he fore-told something, which accordingly 
fell out in 1683 ; this Man being in Strathspey, in John Mack- 
donald of Glencoe his Company, told in Halachastell before the 
Laird of Grant, his Lady, and several others, and also in my 
Father's House; that Argyle, of whom few or none knew theii 
where he was, at least there was no Word of him then here; 
should within two Twelve Months thereafter, come to the West- 

* See Appendix, Note I. - Ibid., Nole 2. 


Highlands, and raise a Rebellious Faction, which would be 
divided among themselves, and disperse, and he unfortunately 
be taken and beheaded at Edinburgh, and his Head set upon the 
Talbooth, where his Father's Head was belore him ; which 
proved as true, as he fore-told it, in 1685, thereafter. Likewise 
in the Beginning of May next after the late Revolution, as my 
Lord Dundee returned up Spey-side, after he had followed 
General Major Mac Kay in his Reer down the Length of 
Edinglassie, at the Milatown of Gartinbeg the Machleans joined 
him, and after he had received them, he marched forward, but 
they remained behind, and fell a Plundering : Upon which, 
Glencoe and some others, among whom was this Archibald, 
being in my Father's House, and hearing that Mac Leans and 
others were Pillaging some of his Lands, went to restrain them, 
and commanded them to march after the Army; after he had 
cleared the first Town, next my Father's House of them, and 
was come to the second, there standing on a Hill, this Archibald 
said, Glencoe, If you take my Advice, then make off with your 
self with all possible Haste, e're an Hour come and go, you'll be 
put to it as hard as ever you was : Some of the Company began 
to droll and say, what shall become of me ? Whether Glencoe 
believed him, or no, I cannot tell ; but this I am sure of, that 
whereas before he was of Intention to return to my Father's 
House and stay all Night, now we took leave, and immediately 
parted : And indeed, within an Hour thereafter Mac Kay, and 
his whole Forces, appeared at Culnakyle in Abernethie, Two 
Miles below the Place where we parted, and hearing that 
Cleaverhouse had marched up the Water-side a little before, 
but that Mac Leans, and several other Straglers, had stayed 
behind, commanded Major ^neas Mac Kay, with Two Troops 
of Horse after them ; who finding the said Mac Leans at Kin- 
chardie, in the Parish of Luthil, chased them up the Morskaith : 
In which Chase Glencoe happened to be, and was hard put to 
it, as was fore-told. What came of Archibald himself, I am not 
sure ; I have not seen him since, nor can I get a true Account 
of him, only I know he is yet alive, and at that Time one of my 
Father's Men whom the Red- coats meeting, compell'd to guide 
them, within Sight of the Mac Leans, found the said Archibald's 
Horse within a Mile of the Place where I left him. I am also 
inform'd, this Archibald said to Glencoe, that he would be 
murthered in the Night-time in his own House three Months 
before it happen'd." 


•* There was one James Mack Coil-vicalaster alias Grant, in 
Glenbeum near Kirk -Michael in Strathawin, who had this Sight, 
who^I hear of several that were well acquainted with, was a ver>' 
honest Man, and of right blameless Conversation. He used 
ordinarily by looking to the Fire, to fore-tell what Strangers 
would come to his House the next Day, or shortly thereafter, by 
their Habit and Arms, and sometimes also by their Names ; and 
if any of his Goods or Cattle were missing, he would direct his 
Servants to the very place where to find them, whether in a Mire 
or upon dry Ground ; he would also tell, if the Beast were already 
Dead, or if it would Die e're they could come to it ; and in 
Winter, if they were thick about the Fire-side, he would desire 
them to make room for some others that stood by, tho* they did 
not see them, else some of them, would be quickly thrown into 
the^[midst of it. But whether this Man saw any more than 
Brownie and Meg Mullach, I am not very sure ; Some say. he 
saw more continually, and would often be ver>' angry-like, and 
something troubled, nothing visibly moving him : Others affirm 
he saw these two continually, and sometimes many more." 

*• Meg MuUack, and Brownie mentioned in the end of it, are 
two Ghosts, which (as it is constantly reported) of old, haunted 
a Family in Straths-pey of the Name of Grant. They appeared 
at first in the likeness of a young Lass ; the second of a young 

The words '* of old'' are ver>' significant. Meg Mollach and 
Brownie were still hidden in the dim and distant past two 
hundred years ago. 




Cairn is from the Gaelic Cam^ a heap of stones (root, car: 
hard). In its original sense, it is in common use for hills, big 
and little, from Cairngorm downwards. In its secondary sense 
it is applied to artificial objects, such as heaps of rough undressed 
stones of all sorts. Sometimes cairns were set up as landmarks. 
More often they were erected as memorials of persons, and of 
notable events. We find examples of the custom in the Old 
Testament, as in the cases of Achan, and of Absalom (Josh, vii., 
26; II. Sam. xviii., 17). The custom also prevailed in our own 
land. Ossian often refers to it. Burns, in ** Tam o' Shanter," 
names several cairns passed by Tam in his famous ride ; and 
who does not remember Muschat's Cairn that figures so promi- 
nently in Scott's ** Heart of Midlothian." Cairns were also 
largely sepulchral, and, while they may have been intended for 
the protection of the remains of the dead from wolves and wild 
beasts, they must also have had some connection with the 
religious beliefs of the people of those far-off times. The Gaelic 
saying, Cuiridh mi clach air do ehani, ** I will put a stone on 
your cairn," connects both worlds, and expresses not only regard 
for the living, but reverence for the dead. Cairns are to be found 
of all sizes, from the heap of stones by the roadside marking a 
death or murder, to the huge mass on the hilltop covering the grave 
of some mighty chief whose name and achievements are forgotten. 
In this parish they are very numerous. Hundreds may be seen 
on the moors and hills, and many more are hidden from sight in 
the deep heather and the dense woods. Of the prehistoric cairns 
the most notable is Cam-na feola, the C. of the Flesh, on the 
moor to the east of the Mill of Kincardine. It stands on a 


terrace, coraraanding a wide view, and has many smaller cairns 
and remains of hut circles round about. As marking it out from 
the rest, it is surrounded by a rampart of earth. In the centre 
was a great heap of stones, which contained a stone cist about four 
feet square, covered by a flagstone. It is not known when it w^as 
opened, but thirty-five years ago there might be seen the remains 
of at least three interments, a man, woman, and child. Some 
time after the skulls, which were quite entire, were carried off. 
There is another caini, with the remains of a cist, a little further 
east, at I.aii'irhurr, the Hollow of Gore. There were also two 
fine examples of so-called Druidical circles in one of the 
Pytoulish fields, which were unfortunately removed as inter- 
fering with the cultivation of the land. Several of the stones 
may be seen lying at the roadside, and one of them has some 
peculiar markings. The existence of so many cairns and other 
prehistoric remains in the district indicate that there must have 
been a considerable population in these old times, and that the 
people, however rude, had made some advance in civilisation. 

Cairns were often erected as memorials of deaths by accident 
or violence. We have an example of the first at the south end 
of the Balliefurth plantation. It is called Cam Bean-na-Luriginy 
C. of the Wife of Lurg. Some sixty years ago Mrs Macdonald, 
Lurg, was returning from the carding-mill with a load of wool. 
At this spot the horse took fright, the cart was overturned, and 
Mrs Macdonald smothered under the wool. Other accidents 
have happened at the same place, which is popularly believed to 
be haunted. As an example of death by violence, the cairn at 
Richailleach, in Tulloch, may be mentioned. About 1772 there 
fell out a great dispute between two neighbouring farmers, John 
M'Gibbon, or Gumming, Tontiri, and John Grant, Richailleach, 
about marches. One day in May M*Gibbon was mending his 
potato fences on the hill, where some land had been reclaimed 
(called in Gaelic Codhach), Richailleach's son came to him 
complaining that he had ill-used his sheep. The dispute waxed 
hot. From words they were like to come to blows. M*Gibbon 


warned Grant to keep off, but in vain. At last, provoked by his 
taunts and insults, he took up his gun, which he had lying beside 
him, and fired, meaning to scare rather than to hurt the young 
man. Unfortunately, the shot took effect in the thigh, and Grant 
fell to the ground. M'Gibbon, it is said, did what he could to 
staunch the wound, and then fled. Grant not returning home, 
search was made, and, by means of his collie, he was found lying 
dead in a pool of blood. M*Gibbon was at once charged with 
the crime, but he could not be found. He is said to have hid for 
some time in a hole under a tree in the Doire-gharbh, rough 
grove, near Loch Garten, and then to have left the countr>'. 
Some thirty years after, the late John M*Queen, when serving in 
the army in Holland, went out one evening for a stroll. He 
came upon a band of men working at an embankment. As he 
stood watching them, one of them, much to his surprise, accosted 
him in Gaelic. ** Where do you come from ? '* he asked. The 
answer was '^Scotland." * What part ? " ** Strathspey." "Where 
in Strathspey?" *' Glenmore, in Kincardine." The name 
brought up dear memories of the past, and, with a trembling lip, 
the old man said, Am bheil na ire chraobkan chaoraitin fathasd 
ann Dnchonich ? " Are the three rowan trees still at Buchonich ? " 
a farm in Glenmore. The answer was ** Yes ; they are standing 
there yet." More would have been said, but at that moment the 
drum beat, and M*Queen had to hurry back to camp. It is 
supposed that this poor exiled Highlander was John M'Gibbon. 
There is a cairn in Glenmore called Cam Donull ban Bhaile- 
chaolais, C. of Fair Donald of Ballachulish. Donald was a 
notorious raider, and his name is still remembered in Lochaber. 
**His father was a Cameron, of the Glen-Nevis family; his 
mother was a Mackenzie ; but, being illegitimate, he took the 
name of his mother. He had a half-brother, who was for many 
years ferryman at Ballachulish, and who, having lost an eye, was 
known as the portair cam, *the one-eyed ferryman.' He was 
famous in his day for his powers of second-sight and as a 
proficient in all sorts of diablerie " — (" Nether Lochaber "). 


Donald had made a raid into Moray without success. Passing 
Lurg on the way back, the party carried off a bull. It is said 
that the English in an excursion in Bruce's days were obliged, 
after much toil and loss, to retreat with no other spoil than a 
lame, half-starved bull, which they had picked up at Tranent 
**Is this all you have got?" said Earl Warenne; **by my faith, 
I never saw dearer beef!" Donald Bain might have said the 
same, and with good reason. The raiders were pursued. They 
had rested in Glenmore, had roasted the bull, and were carousing 
merrily in the barn, when tht-ir revels were roughly stopped 
The door was forced, and tht y were challenged to surrender. 
Donald cried to his men to keep to their own side of the house, 
for he wanted peace. But Lurg's servant, who had a grudge 
against him, took advantage of the confusion and shot him with 
a pistol. He was buried at the back of the bam, where his cairn 
stands to this day. In the upper part of Glenmore, lying between 
AUt Mor and Allt-na-Cisde, there is a ridge which bears the 
name of Baihaich Fiontag, '* The Byre of Fiontag." From its 
commanding position it was used as a post of outlook by the 
watchers in the days of the raiders, as it was aftenvards by John 
Roy when in hiding. Alan Grant of Tulloch, who acted as a 
warden of the marches, had an encounter here with some 
Lochaber men, in which one of the party fell. There are two 
headstones which mark his grave. The man was a Cameron, 
and his death led to a blood-feud. His fntlier and brother set 
out to avenge his death. They came to Glenmore, but Alan was 
not there. They passed on, and at Caiplich they halted. The 
father would go no further, but the son said he would go on to 
the Ailnack, as he wanted to see his sweetheart. So they parted. 
Alan was at the time posted at the ** Feith," a place near the 
Crasg, in the Braes ot Abernethy. He spied young Cameron, 
and went to meet him, calling out, ** Hold yourself my prisoner." 
But Cameron pressed on. When near enough, he took aim at 
Alan, but his gun missed fire. Alan cried out, " It is vain for 
you to shoot at me, as lead has no power over me." On this 


Cameron tore a silver button from his coat and thrust it into his 
gun, when Alan, dreading the result, fired at him, and he fell 
dead on the spot. The stone on which he had rested his gun 
was splashed with his blood, and it is said the red mark remains 
to this day. Like Rizzio's blood, though washed away it always 
re-appears. The place bears the name of Straan-Chamronach, 
Cameron's father returned home broken-hearted. Like other 
Celts, he poured forth his grief in song. One verse of his lament 
for his son runs as follows : — 

" Dh 'fhaodainn bhi cinnte, gun robh pairt don an-nair, 
Ge do ruidheadh gu luadh, 
Do ghabh mi a chead bhuan, an Caiplich dhiot" 

** My foreboding was sure that the evil hour was following thee 
fast when I bade thee the long good-bye at Caiplich." There is 
a cairn at Glaic Bothain, below the Eagle's Cliff on Cairngorm, 
called Archie's Cairn. About the beginning of the century, two 
young men, William Fraser — commonly called ** Foxie " Fraser, 
from his father being a fox hunter— and Archie Fyfe, Sleighich, 
were watching a fox den at night Somehow Fyfe's gun slipped 
down the bank, and in pulling it back it went off, and the shot 
wounded him mortally. He lived long enough to declare that it 
was an accident, and that his comrade was not to blame ; but 
all the same, there were suspicions of foul play, and Fraser soon 
after left the country. It is said the party who carried the corpse 
home threw the gun that had proved so unlucky into Loch 
Ghobhlach, between Alt-bheithir and Sleighich. 

Cairns used to be sometimes set up at places where funerals 
rested (cf. Tylor). On the old road from Glenbroun, at the top 
of the ridge where Abemethy comes in sight, there is a notable 
cairn. What distinguishes it from others is that it has an oaken 
cross, which bore initials of a name and date. It is called Crois 
pharruig-an-AMcan, "The Cross of Patrick of Ailean" (G. aile, 
a plain, is obsolete (cf. Alvie, the Plain of Birches), but aMean, 
the diminutive, a green, remains as a plac*e name). Patrick 



Grant once lived at the Ailean on the Dorback, but he was 
obnoxious to his neighbour, Lurg, who, like Ahab of old, coveted 
his land. Lurg tried various means to get rid of hiic, but failed. 
Then he hired a certain notorious Peter Bain, Inchtomach, to 
do his dirty work. Peter was a.s cunning as he was unscrupulous. 
He got some men to waylay Grant a.s he was passing Loch-an- 
Spioraid, and then when they were carr>'ing him off to drown 
him, he suddenly came on the scene and stopped them, crying 
out, "What are you doing to my good friend Ailan?" They 
said that he had a quarrel with Lurg, and that he must die. 
Peter pledged his word that if they let Ailan go he would see 
that he would do what Lurg wanted. The result was that Ailan 
had to give up his farm and to move to a place in the parish of 
Kirkmichael. When he died, he craved to be buried with his 
fathers. Where the funeral rested, the cross was put up, and 
there it stands to this day, grey and worn, battered by a thousand 
storms. On the old road from Glenmore by the Crasg to Kin- 
cardine, there are several funeral cairns. One near Totn-na- 
mor-laoich^ the Hill of the Heroes, is called C an-leinibh^ the 
Cairn of the Infant. Another is called C an Tuaimear, the 
Turners' Cairn. Turners were men of importance in the old 
time, and they are frequently named in songs and sgeulachds. 
There was a Peter Murray, a turner, at Lettoch so late as i8ii. 
Near the march between Beglan and Bad-ghiuthais, there is a 
cairn called C, Bean-Ruigh hitch, the C. of the Goodwife of 
Riluich. This was Christian Robertson, the wife of James 
Stewart, foi ester of Glenmore, a notable woman, who died about 
1780. There are cairns marking the places where the bodies of 
the soldiers lost in the storm of 1804 were found ; and at Straan- 
liath, above Sleighich, there are three cairns which mark where 
the funeral party had rested who were bearing three of the bodies 
from the hill. There is a C. an Lisich near Tontiri (old form 
Dundiri), on the old Tulloch road. The Lisichs were a sept of 
the Macphersons, probably called after some noted ancestor of 
the name of Gillice. The designation is in use to this day. In 


Glenmore there is a stone called Leac Staingean, which marks 
one of those love tragedies which the balladists were fond of 
commemorating. Mary Macintyre wa.«5 the flower of Glenmore. 
She dwelt with her mother and only brother, who loved her 
dearly. They wished her to marry a farmer of good position, 
but her heart had been given to a lover from Kincardine. Her 
brother suspected there was something wrong, and watched. 
He found that the lovers met in secret. Mary was pressed to 
give up her sweetheart, but would not. Neither arguments nor 
threats could prevail upon her. So long as he was faithful to 
her, she would be faithful to him. Her brother, mad with rage 
and jealousy, laid a foul plot. One night, when he knew there 
was to be a meeting, he shut up his sister. Then he dressed 
himself in her clothes, and took his stand at the trysting place, 
under the shadow of a fir tree, clutching his dirk. The lover 
appeared, and came forward with eager steps, but instead of the 
embrace he expected, he was stabbed to the heart. The murderer 
hid for some time in Creagan-doire-mheann, C. of the Tlricket of 
the Kids. He was never brought to trial. The maiden died oi 
a broken heart. Her spirit was said to haunt the trysting tree 
and the grave of her lover. 

** * Yestreen I dream'd a doleful dream ; 
I fear there will be sorrow ! 
I dream'd I puU'd the birk sae green, 
With my true love on Yarrow.* 

" ' 1*11 read your dream, my sister dear. 
Your dream of dule and sorrow ; 
Ye puird the birk for your true love, — 
He's kiird, he's kill'd on Yarrow.' 

" She kiss'd his lips, she kaim'd his hair. 

As oft she had done before, O ; 

Syne with a crack her heart it brak, 

On the dowie Dens of Yarrow." 




Lakes add largely to the beauty and interest of our scenerj- 
They break the monotony of the moors, they relieve the gloom 
of the forest, and they both increase and reflect the glories 
of the mountains and the sky. The Lakes in this parish 
have been mostly formed by the action of drift. They 
are of various sizes. Some are mere tarns, called in 
the Gaelic Lochans. Thus there is Lichan-na-beinn, L. of 
the hill, on the north-west shoulder of Cairngorm, where 
good- sized trout are found. Then there are L. *n Eilan, L. of the 
island, in a moor about a mile east from Kincardine Church, rich 
in its season with Water Lilies ; L, nan-nafhrach, L. of the 
serpents, in Glenmore ; and L. Uain, Green Loch, in the Aber- 
nethy Slugan. Of the larger Lochs, the first place must be given 
to Loch Morlich (1046), not only for its size, but for the grandeur 
of its surroundings. It lies in Glenmore, and is about two miles 
long, and half-a-mile broad. The chief stream which runs into it 
is the Allt-more, formed by the junction of the Feith-dhubh. the 
AUt-ban, AUt-na-cisde, and the other streamlets that come from 
the corries of Cairngorm. Loch Morlich was famous for its trout, 
which are of the same sort as Loch Leven, running from ^ lb. to 
2, and sometimes 4 lbs., but of recent years they have decreased 
in number and size. This falling-off is attributed to the ravages 
of pike, but it is more likely due to lack of food, as when the 
Glen was under cattle and sheep there was a much larger supply 
of worms and other nourishment than there is now. There are 
Sithans at both ends of the lake. Those at the west are said to 
be the abode oi Domhall-Mhr-had-n t-Shian, King of the Fairies. 
The sands and thickets at the east are the haunt of the Lainih- 


dhearg, the Spectre of the Bloody Hand, which was believed to be 
connected with the Stewarts of Kincardine. Robin Oig, son of one 
of the Barons of Kincardine, was once out hunting in Glenmore. 
He killed a hind, and was proceeding to gralloch it. Happening 
to lay down his sgian-dubh beside him, it disappeared. Then he 
took the knife from his dirk, and when he laid it down it too 
vanished. He finished his work the best way he could, and went 
away wondering. Some time after he met an old man on the 
sands of Loch Morlich, wrapped in a grey plaid, but with one 
hand red and bloody exposed. It was the Laimh-dhearg. " Is 
this you, Robin?" he said. "You are too often in the Glen, 
slaughtering my poor innocents. Do you remember the hind 
you killed in Glacan-bealaidh ; you call it Glacan-beadidh, but we 
call it Glacan-bealaidh, Here are your knives, but I counsel you 
to be more sober in the Glen in future." The distinction as to 
the name of the place is curious. The old name was taken from 
nature, from the Broom ; the modern from some incident of life, 
something connected with a Beattie, The Red Hand was 
evidently a true Celt. Love of nature, fondness for animals, 
passionate attachment to home, yearning over the past, taking a 
glory from being far, are sentiments that run still in the blood 
of every Highlander, and will live with him till his heart grows 

Loch Garten lies in the midst of the fir woods of Tulloch. It 
is rather more than half-a-mile in length, and is 725 feet above 
the sea, the same level as the terrace on which the Church of 
Abemethy stands. Having no value for fishing, its charm 
consists in the solitude and quietness, of the scene, and the 
boundless contiguity of shade from the surrounding pines. 
According to tradition, this Loch and neighbourhood were once 
frequented by a Bodach, or Spirit, attached to the house of 
Gartenmore, whose cries might be heard on the death of a 
member of the family. The family has become extinct, and the 
Bodach has become extinct also. Perhaps the belief arose in an 
ignorant and superstitious age from hearing the cries of passing 


geese, or other wild fowl, which have an eerie effect when they 
fall upon the ear in the darkness of night or amidst the gloom of 
the forest. But there may be another explanation. These 
I/>chs do at times give forth most unearthly sounds. Once, 
when passing through a wood in spring, three groans of a most 
startling kind were heard. Coming one after another, with 
increasing loudness, they seemed the cries of some animal in 
distress. But a little investigation shewed that they had pro- 
ceeded from a small loch lying in a hollow, where the ice was in 
the throes of dissolution, and the imprisoned air was seeking 
escape. Lowell, in speaking of winter, refers to this phenomenon. 
He says — ** As you walk homeward you may perchance hear the 
niost* impressive sound in natufc, unless it be the fall of a tree in 
the forest during the heat of summer noon. It is the stifled 
shriek of the lake yonder as the frost throttles it. Thoreau calls 
it admirabl}' well a whoop ; but it is a noise like none other, as 
if a Demigorgon were moaning inarticulately from under the 
earth." Wordsworth has noted the sound, though his description 
savours of exaggeration. In ** The Prelude " he says : — 

** From under Water splitting fields of ice, 
The pent-up air struggling to free itself 
Gave out to meadow grounds and hills a loud 
Protra< ted yelling, like the noise of wolves 
Howling in troops along the Bothnic Main." 

Loch Garten is often covered with ice, which, in hard winters, 
lasts long. About a hundred years ago there was a severe frost, 
and the loch continued frozen over till the middle of March. A 
crofter of the name of Smith or Gow crossed it on his way to 
Tulloch, and spoke rather proudly of the feat as something 
wonderful. He was advised not to return the same way, as Ihere 
were signs of thaw. The old saying was quoted : An tiaira lainias 
e an Fheill-Brighde cha ^n earb an sionnach earball ris an deigh, 
** When St Bride's Fair (Candlemas) is past, the fox wont trust 
his tail to the ice." But counsel and remonstrance were in vain. 
Gow persisted. He said it was a short cut, and what he had done 


once that day he would do again. But he never reached his 
home. Search was made, and his blue bonnet, with a bunch of 
birch withs, floating on the now open water, told too surely of 
his fate. "Once too often" has brought many to harm. I/>ch 
Garten is connected with a smaller loch to the west, which bears 
the ominous name of Loch Mallachaidh, the Loch of the Curse. 
The belief was common in olden time that curses might be laid 
upon things and living beings. The Curse of Moy is well known* 
There was also a curse upon the Gordons and the Grants. The 
tradition as to the latter is worth recording. Ballintomb was of 
old the gathering place of the Clan, and there the Chief used to 
sit in judgment. There is still a Carragh, or standing-stone, and 
the remains of terraced seats, to mark the spot. Once it happened 
that a young man, the only son of his mother, was charged with 
some offence, and, after trial, condemned to death. His mother 
pleaded earnestly on his behalf. My informant, the late Ann 
Cameron, daughter of the Cean-tighe head of the Kincardine 
Camerons, graphically described the scene. The Chief sat by 
himself, stem and relentless. He kept silently munching bread 
and cheese, while the widow knelt and poured out her cries at his 
feet. At last the poor woman, seeing that all was in vain, burst 
into a passion of tears and imprecations. She prayed that the 
wrath of heaven might fall upon the merciless, and that his house 
might never be without a *' fool." Loch Mallachie is the source 
of the Mullin-garroch Burn, which runs into the Spey opposite 
Boat of Garten Station. The curse, which is said to have come 
from a disappointed biidegroom, was believed to follow the water, 
and to fall specially on newly- married people. So strong was 
the faith in its potency, that even in the last generation there were 
persons who would rather go far round than cross the stream on 
their wedding day. It is curious that a superstition of the same 
kind exists in England. There is a bridge called Gold-brook, in 
Suffolk, that is said to have at one time borne the inscription, 
"Cursed be the wedding party that passes this bridge." The 
inscription has disappeared, but the tradition is so well known 


that a bridal party will take a circuitous route rather than pass 
over the bridge. 

There is a small loch in the plantation of Balliefurth called 
Loch-na-h' Ulaidh. It is said to contain a treasure, guarded by 
some dragon or other monster. Efforts have been made to find 
it, but in vain. Tradition says that one daring man set to drain 
the loch, but, just as the water began to run, fire came out of the 
ground and slew him. His g^ave is marked by two broom 
bushes! Another version of the legend connects the treasure 
with a stone, which still stands in the dyke at the east end of the 
plantation. Long ago, it is said, a man in Ireland dreamt of a 
treasure to be found in a certain place in Strathspey, which he 
saw in his dream. He set out in search. After much travel, he 
came to Achernack, where he fell in with a man, called Alan, 
casting divots, with whom he had some talk. The appearance of 
the place, with the stone standing on the moor, and the bum 
running past, agreed with what he had seen in his dream. He 
asked Alan to assist him, and they soon unearthed the treasure. 
The Irishman went on his way, and Alan hurried to Achernack 
with the news. "You fool," said his mistress, **why did you let 
him go ? After him, and if you bring back the gold I will marr>- 
you." Alan set off, oveitook the Irishman at Castle Roy, and, 
with one blow of his flauchter- spade, killed him. He returned, 
married the lady, and took her name. His own name being 
Alan, a Cameron from I<ochaber, called in Gaelic Alain-nam- 
foide, from his trade as a turf-cutter, the family came to be 
known among the Grants as the Clan Alan ! This is one of 
those stories, not uncommon, that seem to have been 
constructed to account for a name. Legends as to treasures 
or **ulaidhs" are common. There is hardly a parish but 
has its story of some man who had become suddenlj' 
rich by finding a hoard that had been hidden in time of 
war or trouble. It was the same in the East in ancient 
days. The custom was for rich men to divide their goods into 
three parts. One they employed in commerce or for necessary 

The lochs and their legends. 57 

support ; another they turned into jewels, which could be easily 
carried about, and were always valuable ; and a third they buried. 
The place where the money was buried was kept secret, and, in 
consequence, from deaths and changes, the knowledge of it was 
often lost, or it was afterwards found by chance (cf. Jer. xH., 8 ; 
Matt, xiii., 44). There is a Greek story that Mardonius, defeated 
at Plutza, left great treasures buried under his tent. Polycrates, 
a Theban, bought the ground, but could find nothing. He 
consulted the Oracle at Delphi, and got the enigmatical reply, 
TTovra \Sov klvci, " Turn every stone." He did so, and prospered. 
Another story is told by Gibbon (" Decline and Fall," L, p. 28). 
Julius Atticus, of the family of Herod, though claiming descent 
from gods and heroes, "must have ended his life in poverty 
and contempt had he not discovered an immense treasure buried 
under an old house, the last remains of his patrimony. According 
to the rigour of the law, the Emperor might have asserted his 
claim, and the prudent Atticus prevented, by a frank confession, 
the ofiiciousness of informers. But the equitable Nerva, who 
then filled the throne, refused to accept any part of it, and 
commanded him to use without scruple the present of fortune. 
The cautious Athenian still insisted that the treasure was too 
considerable for a subject, and that he did not know how to use 
it "Abuse it then' replied the monarch, with a good-natured 
peevishness, 'for it isyourowu^ Gibbon states in a note that 
Hadrian afterwards made a very equitable regulation, which., 
divided all treasure-trove between the right of property and that 
of discovery. 

Loch Pytoulish is a beautiful little lake, partly in Kincardine 
and partly in Rothiemurchus. It is 674 feet above the sea, the 
same height as Loch Dallas, behind Kinchirdy. Its environment 
is rich in memories of the past. To the west is the Callart, a 
rocky height, which till lately was densely covered with larch. 
It stands now cold and bare. Dr John Brown, of ** Rab and His 
Friends," in speaking of a similar hill that had been recently 
cleared,. said, "it looks like a plucked fowl" ; and this is exactly 


the present appearance of the Callart. At the east end, near the 
march, is Lag-nan-Cuimcanach^ where Shaw of Rothiemurchus, 
the captain of the clan in the combat at the Insh of Perth, 
1392, waylaid a party of Cummings and slew them. The 
remains of their graves may still be seen in the hollow 
There is an island in the loch, which appears when the water is 
low. It is evidently artificial, and probably was used as a place 
of defence. Perhaps it had a crannoge as part of the structure, 
or it may have been connected with the Stone Fort on the hill 
above {Greag Chaisieai). On the east side of the loch there is 
a well-defined terrace, with the remains of hut-circles and cairns. 
It is about 30 feet higher than the lake, and makes, with the 
surface of the water, as striking a parallel as the famous Roads 
of Glenroy. This terrace, which many mistake for a road, and 
others at a higher level (700, 800, 900), may be traced for miles 
on both sides of the Sp^^y. It was in Loch Pytoulibh that Colonel 
Thornton killed the monster pike, of which he gives so glowing 
an account in his book. The loch was said to have been of old 
one of the haunts of the Water Kelpie. Once upon a time the 
Baron's heir and some other boys were playing by the loch side. 
One of them cried out with surprise, ** Look, the pretty pony ! " 
They went to see. It was a palfrey, gaily caparisoned, with 
saddle and bridle bright with silver and gems, feeding quietly in 
the meadow. The boys tried to get hold of it, but could not. 
They were allowed to come close, and then, with a toss of its 
head, it was ofiF. Thus frolicking, they drew nearer and nearer 
to the loch. At last they caught it by the bridle, when, with a 
wild shriek, it rushed for the water. The lads struggled hard, 
but their hands were glued fast to the bridle, and they could not 
loose them. But the Baron's son, who had his right hand free, 
drew his dirk and gashed his fingers till he gained release. He 
alone escaped ; the others perished in the waters. This leg^end, 
like most of these old world tales, is not without its moral. It 
teaches our I/)rd's lesson, that things are not what they seein, 
that it is dangerous to grasp at unhallowed pleasures, and that 


it is better to part with a right hand or a right eye rather than, 
by self-indulgence and sin, to lose the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Mr EUice, in the " Place Names of Glengarry," tells a similar 
story of a place near Ardochy, on the Garry, which is called 
Eilean-na'Cloitme, the Island of the Children. In this case, it is 
said, eight children were playing on a Sunday near the Kelpie's 
Pool. The Kelpie came out, and seven of them clambered on 
his back for a ride. But the eighth, more cautious than the 
rest, put out his hand and touched the beast with his finger, 
when he found, to his dismay, that it was glued fast. Quick as 
thought, he seized a sickle that lay on the grass, and cut himself 
free. The others perished. 

** This is peace. 
To conquer love of self and lust of life. 
To tear deep-rooted passion from the breast. 
To still the inward strife ; 
For love, to clasp Eternal Beauty close ; 
For glory, to be Lord of self; for pleasure, 
To live beyond the gods ; for countless wealth, 
To lay up lasting treasure 
Of perfect service rendered, duties done 
In charity, soft speech and stainless days : 
These riches shall not fade away in life. 
Nor any death dispraise." — Arnold's ** Light of Asia." 




The Gaelic words for a well are Juaran and tobar. They are 
usually regarded as synonymous, but they may be distingtiished. 
Fuaran, from fuar, cold, is the well in its natural state, as it 
springs sweet and pure from the bosom of the earth. Tobar 
marks the well where there has been the choice and handiwork 
of man, or some association of ideas with names and incidents of 
human life. There is a somewhat similar difference between the 
English words well and fountain, which Wordsworth brings out 
in his poems "The Fountain " and *' A Complaint" The names 
of wells are often descriptive. Thus we have Fuaran buidk^ near 
Lynamer, where the iron gives the water a rich yellow tinge. At 
Tontiri there is a well called F, rhmach, from its rough, shagg>' 
sides. On the west shoulder of Carn Rhynettan, near the 
Tulloch road, there is a well bearing the curious name of F, gkoile 
(boiling). The water lies on a bed of finest sand, and from the 
centre there springs a little jet, which rises to the height of a few 
inches above the surface. The boiling goes on ceaselessly, but 
the jet at times rises with more force than at others. It is a 
miniature geyser. We find the vsame form of description in the 
Bible, compare Judges vii. i, the Well of Harod, or ** Trembling," 
There are other wells with similar descriptive names, such as 
F.fiontag, the fair well ; F. nib^ -leac-an-lorganaich, the big well of 
the tracker's slab, in the Gaivalt ; and, a little higher up, F mhbr 
gharbh'Uilty which well deserves the epithet big, as it is some ten 
feet across, and the rush of water from it is like a mill stream. 
This well is sometimes called the source of the Nethy, but this is 
a mistake. The source is higher up, in Coire-na-spreidh, about 
a mile from Loch Avon. 


The names of wells are often commemorative or connected 
with incidents in social life. There is a /^ Bharbara in the wood 
above the Public School. Barbara has been for long a favourite 
name in the Highlands. The oldest part of Castle Grant is called 
**Babie*s Tower." Saint Barbara was regarded as the type of 
true womanhood, and her shrines are still much frequented in 
Roman Catholic countries. There is a F, Caiair-na-dalach near 
the Green Ix)ch, and a F. Ealsaid near Rhynettan, but notliing is 
known of either the Kate or the Elizabeth whose names are thus 
handed down. Near the Green Lochan there is a well called 
F. ghamhainn. It is very deep, about sixteen feet, and got its 
name from a stirk having been drowned in it. At Ribhoan there 
is a well which bears the name of F, nam-poit^ which takes us 
back to the time when "summering" was still the practice, and 
the shelling pots were buried in the bogs till the next season 
came round. On the east side of Ben Bynac there is a fine well, 
often used as a luncheon-place by sportsmen and passers by, 
which is called F, nan-Grandach, the Well of the Grants. Tradi- 
tion says that early in the history of the Clan a party of Grants 
on an expedition to Deeside halted here, and that this gave rise 
to the name. There is a well at Sleighich, on the old drove-road 
to Castletoii, which is said to have crossed from one side of the 
stream to the other. The explanation given of this strange 
phenomenon is that the well had been polluted by some hides 
having been washed in it, and that it had therefore shifted to a 
purer site. A similar story is told of a well in Garten, which, 
instead of shifting, dried up. Hugh Miller, in his ** legends of 
Cromarty," gives an instance of the same kind, and says, "We 
recognise in this singular tradition a kind of soul or naiad of the 
spring, susceptible of offence, and conscious of the attention paid 
to it." 

On the old road to Glenmore, by the Crasg, there is a well 
called /^ Bharain. It is fenced with flags, and the tradition is 
that the Barons of Kincardine used to rest here on their hunting 
expeditions. Near the top of Cairngorm is the "Marquess Well" 


Prom its position it is well known, and it is a favourite resting- 
place for parties on their way to or from the summit This well 
aay claim to be the highest in Great Britain. There is a spring 
/;v Ben Nevis 3602 feet above the sea, and one on Ben Alder 3650, 
but the " Marquess Well," which is only about 150 feet below the 
summit, must be nearly 4000 feet The water from this well falls 
into AUt-na-Cisde, but in times of strong thaw and flooding part 
is said to find its way into Ciste-Mhearad. The well is called 
after a Marquis of Huntly ; but which Marquis ? That is hard 
to say. It may have been the first Marquis, who won the Battle 
of Glenlivat in 1590, and who pressed the Marquis of Arg>'le so 
hard in his flight across the hills. There is an Arg>'le Stone in 
Rothiemurchus, and there may have been a Huntly Well on 
Cairngorm. Or it may have been the second Marquis, who made 
the chivalrous reply to the Covenanters, ** You may take my head 
from my shoulders, but not my heart from the King." But most 
probably it was the last Marquis, who frequently resided at Kin- 
rara, where he entertained Prince I^opold right roj'ally in 18 19, 
and who was fond of resting at this well on his excursions to the 
hills. Howe'er it be, the name is now fixed, and will remain as 
a link with the, and a dear reminder to many of visits to 
Cairngorm, and of happy hours spent with friends who may 
never meet again. Wells are also named for their sanctity, 
or for the special virtues which they were supposed to 
possess. Tobar-Fcttlfy on the Grantown and Tomintoul road, was 
probably named after some saint Near the Church of 
Kincardine, there is a well called Tcbar Thomhaldidh, no 
doubt after some Celtic saint. There is another well called 
Tobar-na-Caillich, the Nun's Well ; and a well in the Braes is 
called after the Virgin. On the old Church road at Milton there 
is a fine spring called Tobar Donaich, the Lord's Day Well. In 
former days, when people were more leisurely and social in their 
ways than in this fast age, this well was a great place of resort 
between sermons on the Sabbath, and especially at Sacrament 
times, when the services were longer than they are now. The 


most notable of the medicinal wells is in the moor above I^urg, 
called Fuaran-Claisc-nan-Crainean, the Well of the Furrow of 
Bones. It is of the same kind as the famous sulphur Wells of 
Strathpeffer, and was at one time much frequented. Some held 
that it had similar virtues to St Fillan*s blessed Well : — 

" Whose springs can frenzied dreams dispel, 
And the craz*d brain restore." 

A certain Caliph once asked a holy man what he should do 
to show his faith. The answer was, " Dig a Well'* John 
Crowley, one of the York Company people (1730), seems to have 
been of this mind. There is a delicious spring, at the foot of the 
bank, near Aldersyde, which he had fenced and adorned, and 
which still bears his name. As Dean Stanley has said of the 
Moorish Wells of Grenada, ** Even so it is with the good deeds 
of those who have gone before us. Whatever there has been of 
grateful consideration, of kindly hospitality, of far-reaching 
generosity, of gracious charity, of high-minded justice, of saintly 
devotion, these still feed the stream of moral fertilization, which 
will run on when their place knows them no more, when even 
their names have perished." A certain Aberneth}'^ boy, who 
had been away for more than forty years, when he re-visited 
the parish, found many changes. The home of his youth was 
occupied by strangers. The old familiar faces were gone. He 
could find no one to talk to of the former days. Sad at heart, 
he turned his steps to the Crowley Well, one of the dear haunts 
of his boyhood. Here was no change. The water gurgled forth 
clear and sweet as ever. He drank, and was refreshed, and in 
his heart he gave God thanks. 

" All things else have but their day, 
God*s love only lasts for aye." 




Back of the thirteenth century, all is dark. The first name 
that we come upon is ** James, the son of Morgund," who is 
mentioned in a transaction as to land with Andrew Bishop of 
Moray, in 1226. This Morgund is said to have been a son of 
GiUocher, Earl of Marr, but nothing is known of his connec- 
tion with Abernethy.^ There is an entry in the " Registrum 
Moraviense " of later date, 1376, which is of some interest It 
is as follows : — Quod a tempore mortis Cristini McCrath usque ad 
tempus quo Dominus A/exander tntravit ad Baroniam de Aber- 
nethy, nihil est iocutum ; i,e., ** But from the time of the death of 
Christine McCrath to the time of the entry of Lord Alexander 
o the Barony of Abernethy nothing is related." This only lifts 
the curtain for a moment, and then lets it fall. Darkness reigns 
again. Christine McCrath is as much a mystery as James, the 
son of Morgund. But it is significant that Alexander, Lord of 
Badenoch, is named as proprietor of the Barony of Abernethy-. 
The tradition of the country is constant that of old the Corayns 
held sway in Abernethy, with Castle Roy as their stronghold. 
They were a Norman family, and, like many others, are said to 
have come over with William the Conqueror. William Comyn, 
or Cumming, about 12 10, married, as his second wife, Marjory, 
heiress of Buchan, and thus seems to have succeeded to the 
rights and powers of the Celtic Mor-maors under the title of the 
Earl of Buchan. His son, Walter, was Lord of Badenoch and 
Kincardine (1229), and he probably held Abernethy also. In 
1234 we find him settling a dispute with the Bishop of Moray as 
to Church lands in Kincardine. He was succeeded, in 1257, b^- 
his nephew, John, called " The Red,'* and he by his son, John, 
* See Appendix, Note 3. 


"The Black," in 1274. This latter, John's son, the nephew of 
Baliol, was the Comyn whom Robert Bruce so foully slew at 
Dumfries in 1306. Bruce was inveterately hostile to the Comyns, 
and once he was firmly seated on his throne, he took means to 
break their power and to divide their lands among his own fol- 
lowers. The Earldom of Moray, reaching from the Spey in the 
east to Glenelg in the west, he gave to his nephew Randolph, 
who thus became I/)rd and feudal superior of all the smaller 
Barons who had held lands in the district. Randolph died in 
1332. The Lordship of Badenoch was bestowed by Robert II., 
in 137 1, on his son, Alexander, but Abemethy seems to have 
been held by the Comyns for some time after. It was finally 
resigned by John Comyn, at Montrose in 1381, into the hands of 
King Robert in the presence of his court. This fact is stated in 
a Charter of the Lands of Abemethy granted by King Robert to 
his son, Alexander, Earl of Buchan, dated at Perth, 7th October, 
1384. Alexander is the man so well known, on account of 
his strength and ferocity, as The Wolf of Badenoch. In Gaelic 
tradition he bears the nobler name of Alasdair Afbr mac-an-High, 
*• Alexander the Big, Son of the King." These old Comyns have 
left a bad name in the North. It was common to condense into 
a phrase or proverb the popular estimate of the character of 
families and clans, and for the Cummings the word was Foi/l, 
" Cunning." The Gaelic proverb is very emphatic : — 

Fhad a bhitheas craobh 'sa choille 
Bithidh foille *s na Cuiminich : 

'* So long as there is a tree in the wood there will be guile in the 

In the able and elaborate ** History of the Grant Family," by 
the late Sir William Fraser, it is shown that the original country 
of the Grants in the north was Stratherrick ; that their earliest 
possession in Strathspey was Inverallan, 1316; and that they 
were not finally established at Freuchie, now Castle Grant, till 
about 1493. But there is some reason for believing that their 


first holding in Strathspey was at Cong^h, in Abemethy. In 
1281-1298 Gilbert of Glencaimy granted to Duncan of Feryn- 
drawcht in free marriage with his daughter, and to their heirs, 
the East davoch of the lands of Conynges in the holding of 
Abemethy with the homage and service of his tenant of the 
davoch of Wester Conynges, with all right and lordship com- 
petent to the granter or his heirs in any case whatsoever, both 
in the said davoch of land, and in the tenant thereof, namely, the 
davoch which Cecilia the daughter of the deceased Sir William 
Rufus, Knight, then held of the said Gilbert, in feu and heritage, 
for homage and service, to be held by the said Duncan and 
Marjory and the heirs of their bodies in free marriage, as freely 
as any one in the realm of Scotland held or possessed any land 
by gift of any Baron. Witnesses Archibald, Bishop of Moray, 
Henr>% Bishop of Aberdeen, Sir Reginald le Chen, Sir William 
of Dolays, Knights and many others. (This charter is printed in 
" The Chiefs of Grant," Vol. III., p. 7). Then in a Retour dated 
25th February, 1464, Duncan Grant, Knight, is declared heir 
to his grandfather, Gilbert of Glencairnie, in the lands of 
Kunnyngais (Congash). The land had been held for some time 
by the Crown, and in a second Retour, 7th February, 1468, it is 
stated that Gilbert had died about thirty years before, and the 
SherifiFwas directed to take security for ;^6o of rents due, the 
rental being 40s annually. Then in 1489 John Grant, who had 
succeeded to his grandfather, Sir Duncan, in 1485, was infefted 
into the half of Freuchie, the two Culfoichs, the two Congiuhes^ 
and Glenlochy, including Aldcharn, all in the Shire of Inverness. 
The infeftment was completed on the 17th June at Freuchie, and 
Congash, upon the soil and messuages of the same, which implied 
that there were mansions or manor houses at both Freuchie and 
Congash (** Chiefs of Grant," Vol. III., p. 37). There have been 
great changes since then. Freuchie has become the Castle, and 
Congash has sunk into the farm-house. 

In 1 501 James IV. bestowed the Earldom of Moray on his 
natural son, and on the same day a separate grant was made of 


the Lands and Lordship of Abemethy, which had, on failure of 
heirs, reverted to the Crown. From the Earl of Moray the Laird 
of Grant obtained the Lands and Lordship on feu, at a fixed rent 
of £^0 Scots, and this arrangement continued, as the receipts 
show, from 1516 to 1578. After a time the nominal was con- 
verted into a real possession. In 1609 James Stewart, second 
Earl of Moray, Lord of Doune and Abernethy, son of "The 
Bonnie Earl," entered into an agreement with John Grant of 
Freuchy, granting to him by charter ** the Lands and Lordship 
of Abernethy with the Manor place thereof, woods and all other 
pertinents irredeemably, and without any condition, provision or 
obligation of reversion or redemption whatever." For this the 
Lairds of Freuchie were to continue to pay annually to the Earls 
of Moray the sum of £/!^o Scots, the same sum as they had been 
paying all along. This Charter was confirmed by James VI., 
17th June, 1609. Traditions as to the Lords of Moray still linger 
in Abemethy. There is a hillock, a little to the east of Castle 
Roy, called Torran Mhoid, " The Mote Hill," and it is said that 
Lord Moray reserved it so as to secure the title of Lord of Aber- 
nethy. The Laird of Grant pressed to have it along with the 
rest of the lands, but Lord Moray said, " No, though you were 
to cover it with golden guineas, I wouldn't part with it." This 
is still believed by many. 

About the middle of the i6th century the Grants had a closer 
connection with Abernethy than ever afterwards, as from 1566 
to 1582, Duncan Grant, younger of Grant, resided at the Manor 
House of Coulnakyle. There is much difficulty in redding the 
marches between the Church and the laity as regards land and 
power. The following facts may be noted : — In 1364, Alexander, 
Bishop of Moray, was invested by King David II. with powers of 
Justiciary within the districts of Strathspey and Badenoch, and 
two years later these powers were further confirmed. These 
lands were afterwards consolidated into a temporal Lordship or 
Barony under the name of the Barony of Strathspey. In the 
Rental of the Bishopric of Moray, compiled in 1565, Strathspey 

68 IN rnn shadow op caikngorm. 

is name<? as one of eight Baronies paying rent to the Bishop. 
Prom Laggan, in Inverness-shire, to Amdilly, in Banffshire, the 
Bishop had jurisdiction. The rent was ^^187 3s gd, besides pay- 
ment, in some cases, of cattle and grain. In 1539-40 there is 
agreement between James Grant, the Third Laird of Frenchie, 
and Patrick, Bishop of Moray, by which certain lands were fen- 
farmed to the Laird and seven other persons of his name 

The history of the Grant Pamily can be but briefly sketched •— 

I. Aooording to Sir William Fraaer, Sir Duncan Grant wu properly the FiB«r 
of Frbuchii (14S4>1475). He wm the son of John Qrant, Sheriff of InTemeH, 
and Matilda of Qlenchaimie. This Matilda was, acoording to tradition, a Cummingt 
and tliere are many curious le^^ends oonceming hen But Sir William holds that he 
has proved that she was really not a Gumming, but descended of Maliae^ Earl of 
Stratheam, " the proud Noble who claimed the foremost place in the Battle of the 
SUndard on 22nd August, 1138." ** From this {wint of the pedigree" (1434), says 
Sir William, '* down to the present day, all is clear, each link in the long chain of 
ancestry being attested by authentic evidence." 

IL Sir Duncan was succeeded by his grandson, John Grant, Second of FVeudiie, 
called " The Bard," who held the estate for the long period of 48 years (1475-1482), 
and during that time acquired Tullochgorm, Mulbeo, Urquhart, Ballindalloch, and 
other lands. He entered into a matrimonial contract in 1484 with Maxi^aret Ogilrie 
of Deskford, and between the families similar alliances afterwards took place, ending 
atiast in the union of the titles and estates in 1811. It was in Sir John's time that 
the term " Clan " first came into use. The consolidation of the Clan under the 
name of Qrant was gradually carried out In 1527 there are Tribal agreements in 
which the Clan Grant is named, one drawn up at Dilmorar (Dalvorar), within the 
parish of Strathawin, 8th October, 1527, between the Grants and the Farquharsons. 
Ten years later (1537), in an instrument narrating the induction of a minister to 
Duthil, some 70 of the parishioners are named, almost all bearing Celtic names, 
" Macs " of all sorts. But in 1569 we find another document in which all the names, 
47, are Grant. This indicates the transition period. An example illustrative of the 
change may be given from the family of Gartinbeg. In 1537 John i^ called John 
McConquhy. In 1581 his son is designated Duncan Grant, son and heir to umquhill 
John Mak Connachie Grant The same course was adopted by other old familiei, 
doubtless for prudential reasons, and this may account for many of the aepts inta 
which the Clan was divided. 

III. The Third in the succession was Jambs, called Sbumas-nan-Crkach, *' James 
of the Forays '' (1528-1538). Shaw says that he got this name because of his ''bold 
and daring character, which, in conformity with the genius of the times, led him to 
resent any injury or insult oflbred to his Clan by ravaging the territory of their 


enemies." The King, Jamea V., seems to have had great confidence as to his capacity 
in this way, for he issued a royal mandate, in 1528, to him and others, dooming the 
Mackintosh Clan to deBtruction, no creature to be left, " except preistis, wemen and 
bamis" (the women and children were to be shipped to Norway) and again, in 

1584, he wrote to him, *' praying and chaiging him, with his kin, friends and 
partakers, to pass with his Lieutenant General upon Hector Mackintosh cawand 
himself Captain of the Clan Chattan, and others his accomplices and partakers, and 
inward them to slachter, hership and fyir &c taking their goods to himself, for his 
labour." Happily, these savage commands were not carried out, and the Mackintoshes 
remain a powerful Clan to this day. 

lY. John Grant, the "Gentle," son of James, held the estates from 1533 to 

1585. He took a prominent part in public affairs, and was a member of the famous 
reforming parliament that established the Presbyterian Church in Scotland (1560). 
Betwixt him and his people there seems to have been strong attachment. In 1584 
the Chief complained that he had been ** mishandlit," and the Clansmen at once 
replied that they would support ** their Chief and Maister against all invaders not 
only with their goods, but with their bodies.*' 

y. Tlie next Laird was John (1585-1622). He was the son of Duncan, younger 
of Freuchie, who died before his father at Culnakyle (1582). In this Laird's time 
there was much trouble from Clan fights and raiders. Tytler says that after the 
murder of the Earl of Murray, the " Bonnie Earl" the strife " spread, like the moor- 
burning of their own savage districts, from glen to glen, and mountain to mountain, 
till half the land seemed in a blaze/' The King's Commissioners reported that the 
lawless, broken Highlanders of the Clan Chattan, Clan Cameron, Clan Ranald and 
others had sore " wrakit and schakin' the north countrie," and that murders, house- 
burning, spuilzies, &c., went on ** with far greitar rigour nor it war with foreyne 
enemyis." In 1594 Argyll was defeated by Huntly at Glenlivat, and John Grant of 
Gartinbeg, who commanded the Grants, is said to have contributed to this residt by 
withdrawing his men early from the battle (left wing). It was by this Laird, as 
already stated, that Abemethy was acquired from the Earl of Murray. The lands of 
Tulloch were acquired later from George, Marquis of Huntly, in exchange for the 
lands of BlaiHindy and others in Strathavon. '* In the deed of Excambion," as Shaw 
Htates, " Huntly reserved a servitude upon that part of the woods of Abemethy 
which lie westward of Star-na-Mauach (the Monk's Bridge)i at the foot of the hill of 
Rymore, for repairing the House of Gordon Castle and Blairfindy, which servitude 
was abolished by a Decree Arbitral settling the marches betwixt the Families of 
Gordon and Grant recorded in the Books of Session 2l8t December 1771." 

VI. Sir John Grant, only son of John of Freuchie, was the next Laird (1622- 
1637). He married Mary Ogilvie, daughter of Sir Walter Ogilvie of Findlater, by 
whom he had a family of eight sons and three daughters. His seventh son, Mungo, 
was the first of the Grants of Kinchirdy. Sir William Fraser says that Sir John 
** wielded a salutary influence in the pacification of feuds among his neighbours, but 


that he wm greatly liaraRHed in hia own country, by turbolent spirits of hi» own 
name, for whom the Qovernment held him in a measure reH|K>nmble.* Robert Grant 
of Lurg, hia uncle, acted as his CliamberUin, and is liighly commended in a letter. 
24th Jhnuary, 1631, for hia ''great care and diligence in holding Courts, and purging 
the Count rey of knaverie and pyckeries " ; and he is earnestly exhorted " to go on 
in that good course, that our countrey be not any longer evill spoken of by any of 
our neighbours.'* Sir John was one of the first to recognise the value of the woods 
on his property. In 1631 he entered into a lease of the wothIb of Abemethy and 
Duthil with Captain John Mason, acting for the Laird of Fullibardine, for the sum 
of £20,000 ScoU. 

VII. Sir John was 8ucce€<lod by his eldest son, Jamk^ (1687-1 C63:. This L«rd 
was first on the side of the Covenant, and afterwards on tliat of the King. He took 
pcu*t in the plundering of Elgin, but was saved from the awkwardness of spoiling the 
House of his friend. Lord Fiudlater, at Cullen, this duty having been committed to 
the Farquharsons, who carrie<l it out " without mercy." Sir James married (1640\ 
at Elgin, Lady Mary Stewart, daughter of James, Earl of Murray. The ceremony 
was performed, without pnK^hiinations, by Mr Gilbert Marshall, Minister of Cromdale, 
and for this the Synod of Moray suspended liim ''from his chairge f-r the space of 
three Sabbaths." Lady Grant lived and died a Roman Catholic It is said the 
Crucifix WAS carried, for the laat time in StrAths])ey, at her funeral at Duthil, 30th 
December, 1602. In 1663 Sir James went to Edinburgh " to see justice done to his 
kinsman Allan Giant of Tulloch, in a criminal prosecution for manslaughter, and 
although he was successful in preserving the life of his friend, he could not prolong 
his own. He died there that year, and was buried in the Abbey Church <JjHolyrood " 

VIIL The next Laiixl was Ludovick Ghant (1663-1716). In 1671 he married 
Janet Brodie, only daughter and heiress of Alexander Brodie of Lethen. She was a 
zealous Protestant. Lorimer mentions in his MS. Notes that " the people of Murray 
say it was Janet linxlie that first introduced the Bible into Strathspey, owing to her 
having a greater strictness in Religion than was common there before ; and by the 
figure which all her children made in the world, it is evident that she gave them a 
good education." In 1685 Sir Ludovick was fined £42,500 Scots by the Commissioners 
for Church Disorders, " in respect the Lady Grant confesses two years and ane halfs 
withdrawing from onlinauces ; haWng and keeping an unlicensed Chaplain ; hearing 
outed ministers preach several times," and for his and his Lady's '* delinquencies, 
singularities and di^^urders." This heavy fine was ultimately remitted, but it cost 
the Laird much trouble, and some £24,000 (Scots) to obtain the remission. The 
Laird in the end l)ecauie a strong supporter of King William, and joined in the 
campaign of Mackay. He was one of the I^rd Commissioners for the Plantation of 
Kirks, and it was probably by this Commission that ho many Kirkn, such as Insh, 
Rothiemurchus, Kineairdine, Inverallan, and Ad vie, were suppressed on Speyside. 
There is a touching story told, in a MS. of Anecdotes at Castle Grant, of the Laird's 
last days. It is stated that a Gathering of the Clan took place at Ballintomb in 


1710, when the men appeared armed, wearing wbiakers, and in plaids and tartans of 
red and green. The Laird presided, and made a speech, in wbich he said that as he 
was now old, and no longer fit to command them as formerly, he devolved the leader- 
ship upon his son, who ** they saw promised as well, if not better than ever he did." 
He expected, therefore, they would maintain " the same good character with regard 
to courage and unanimity which they bore when he commanded them." Then 
turning to his eon, he said, " My dear Sandy, I make you this day a very great 
present, viz., the honour of commanding the Clan Grant, who, while I conducted 
them, though in troublous times, never misbehaved, so that you have them this day 
without spot or blemish. I hope and beg that you will use them as well as I did, in 
supporting their public and private interests, agreeable to the laws cf liberty and 
probity as are now happily established in our land. God bless you all." 

IX. Sir Ludovick was succeeded by his second son, Albxander (1716-1710). 
He served with distinction in the wars of Marlborough, and rose to the rank of 
Brigadier-General. In the first Jacobite rebellion he rendered great service to the 
Government, but was very ungraciously treated in return. It was his youngest 
sister, Margaret, who was married to Lord Lovat (1716). The wedding was celebrated 
{n Strathspey and the Aird in grand Highland fashion, with much feasting, and 
bonfires blazing on the heights.^ 

X. The next Laird was Jambs (1710-1747). He loyally supported the Govern- 
ment during the rebellions of 1715 and 1745. Prince Charles made an earnest appeal 
to him (22ud August, 1745), but the letter was handed unopened to the Secretary of 
State. Yet though Sir James himself stood by Eing George, some of the ablest of 
his clansmen, such as Colquhoun Grant of Bumside and the Grants of Glenmoriston, 
fought on the Prince's side. Sir James was a member of Parliament for a quarter of 
a century. It is said that the family of Grant is one of four Scottish familif« that 
could claim an unbroken succession in Parliament for seven generations. Sir James 
married Ann Colquhoun, daughter and heiress of Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss, 
and had by her five sous and five daughters. Sir James took much interest in his 
forests. He is said to have been the first to introduce larch and spruce into the 
country ; and in correspondence with his son, he refers repeatedly to the steps which 
had been taken for this purpose. 

XI. Sir Ludovick Grant succeeded his father (1747-1773). He married Lady 
Margaret Ogilvie, eldest daughter of James, fifth Earl of Findlater and Seafield, and 
by this marriage the Ogilvie estates ultimately came (1811) into the Grant family. 
Sir Ludovick resided much at Castle Grant. He was a great improver. He took 
means by proclamations and by the appointment of foresters (three Grants for 
Abemethy, who received the farm of Rhynettan valued at £100 Scots, as salary, 
with the common addition of Wedders and Hens> and half the fines for stolen wood, 
also 1 / sterling for every man who got warrant for timber for his house) for the 
protection and increase of the woods. He also encouraged the cultivation of kale, 

^ See Appendix, Note 4. 


turnipe, and poUtoeo, aud the use of lime, with improved methoda of huabaiidxy. 
He commuted the cuutom aa to Tythes by which every removing tenant bad to leav« 
to the incoming tenant the tenth part of hia corn, which belonged to the HeriUiTf a 
custom which, Lorioier saya, wa« introduced during the atreas and trouble of the 
great famine in King William's time, 1695-1701, when many tenant* died and much 
land waa unp<>aaea»cd. Then to asaist poor tenanta to take farma, the Heritor 
advanced com or inouey to the value of the tenth part of what might grow in a year 
on their respective farms, ami this they were bound to leave to their Buooeaaors. 
Lorimer aaya tliat Sir Ludoviok within aeven or eight years had settled 200 tenants 
on new grounda. He calculated that these would increaae in 20 years to 1000 people, 
who would " cultivate more laud, and enable him (the Landlord) to f»pare in caae of 
great necessity, and indeed it should only be great ntcemity, a hundred men or two 
for the army and navy, beHidea increasing hia Rent roll by 2 or £3o0 a year." Then 
he adds, in the spirit of Qoldsmith, " So tliat an Improver in this way is one of the 
greatest Patriots of the Kingdom. He acts quite contrary to the Plan of those who 
inclose large Farms, au<l turn out Cottagers, who produce children the pillars of the 
State. Tliese people may be called Dtpopvlatort rather than Improvers.'* Sir 
Ludovic was also zealous for the social aud moral improvement of his people. He 
reduced the number of Alp-boui^es, holding that 7 or 8 were sufficient for all 
Stratlispey. He said, "They are generally the pest of the Tenants' morals. In 
them they ti[>end their time and mjney, make quarrels and idle bargains, and 
occasion great dissolution and vice of every kind." Mr Patrick Grant of Duthil, in 
the statistical account of his {Hiriuh, fully confirms this opinion, but Irmsnta how 
Ale was giving place to Wliisky, "a btveragt which teenu JU ofdy for danoni.* It 
was by Sir Luil 'v ick that the Straths])ey Academy, at Cromdale, was projected, and 
to him also belongs the honour of having founded the Village of GrantoiKH. Sir 
Ludovick waa ably supported in liis vai-ious schemes by his son, the Twelfth 

XII. Laird of Fi-euohie, commonly called "The Good Sir Jambs'* (1773-1811). 
He was remarkable, not only for his justice and benevolence, but for his patriotic 
gpirit. licHidiug as he did, like his father, mainly at Castle Grant, he waa brought 
more into touch with his people, and was able to take more direct and persoaal 
interest iu all that concerned their welfare. Shaw, who must have known him well, 
speaks of liim in the highest terms. *' He was a&able aud courteous in his deport- 
ment ; distinguished for his charity, hospitality, aud beneficence ; of a generosity 
that anticii>ated the wishes of his friends and exceeiled the expectations of strangers ; 
aud of exemplary attention to all the offices of religion. He waa dignified without 
pride ; atf ible without meauneiss ; and courteous without deceit. At dilfercnt periods 
he represented the Counties of Moray and Haufl* in Parliament. In 1793 he levied 
the first Regiment of Fencibles Infantry, and in the year foUowuig the 97th Regiment 
of the Line." General Stewart of Garth is etjually laudatory. Sir James married, in 
1763, Jane Duff, only child of Alexander Dufi" of Hatton, by Lady Anne Duff, eldest 
daughter of WUliaui, fii ht Earl of Fife, by whom he had seven sons and six daughters. 
He died on the 18 th February, 1811, and was succeeded by his Bon, 


XIII. Lkwis Alexakder (1811-1840). His life was marked by singular and 
affecting reverses. Educated at Westminster and Edinbui*gh UniTersity, he studied 
for the Bar, and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1788. His first case 
WM in January, 1789, before Lord Henderland. He spoke for an hour. The Judge 
complimented him highly, and Mr Henry Mackenzie, ''The Man of Feeling," who 
was married to his Aunt Penuel, wrote to Castle Grant, with *' joy and pride," of his 
" appearance," the '* elegance and animation of his style," and his high " prospects in 
public life.*' It was then what might be called " the Bums season " in Edinburgh, 
and young 3ir Grant seems to have entered with much zest into all the excitements 
and gaieties of the time. He says in his letters that he was on " intimate terms 
with Adam Smith and all the philosophers " ; and again, that ** his head was in a 
perfect whirligig with balls, dinners, and suppers, and speeches and law papers." 
Probably he suffered, as others did, from what his friend Corriemony called " the 
dissipation of the age." In the General Assembly of 1780, Mr Grant spoke with 
much ability in the contest between Professor Dalziel and Dr Carlyle of Inveresk 
(" Jupiter " Carlyle) for the Clerkship. Dr Carlyle, no mean judge, wrote that his 
speech was " the most admired " of all, — that it was a " consummate specimen of 
popular eloquence." In 1700 Mr Grant wae elected member for Elgin and Nairn, 
and in the famous Warren Hastings Debates he made his first speech, which drew 
forth the commendation of Fox. Up tx> this time all had been bright and full of 
promise, but suddenly darkness fell, and the career which began so well was stopped, 
and the fond hopes cherished by loviog friends were blighted for ever. In 1701 Mr 
Grant had to withdraw from public life. For some time he was under medical care* 
During this period his mind seemed entirely engrossed with what he called " hia 
case" aud he wrote endless letters, full of rambling and confused complaints and 
arguments, couched in legal phraseology. Then he appears to have settled down, 
and for many years he lived a life of quiet retirement, chiefly at CuUen House, and 
Grant Lodge, Elgin. He was fond of whist, which he played with much skill, and 
sometimes, if his partner pleased him, he would present him with one of his silver 
counters, which bore the Grant Arms. James, 7th Earl of Seafield, having died in 
1811, his nephew, Sir Lewis, succeeded to the peerage and estates. He died 26th 
October, 1840, and was succeeded by his brother, 

XIV. Francis Wiluam (1840-1853). Colonel Grant, aa he was commonly called, 
was born 6th March, 1778. He entered the military service when only 16 years old. 
After holding appointments in the 07th or Strathspey Regiment, aud the Eraser 
Fencibles, he was in 1700 made Lieut.- Colonel in the Colonsay Fencibles, or Colonel 
McNeill's Regiment, with permanent rank in the Army. This Regiment was bound, 
if required, to serve abroad, and in 1800 it ^'as sent to Gibraltar. When stationed 
there a call was made for Volunteers to join the army of Sir Ralph Abercromby, and 
Colonel Grant used to relate, with pride, that when the Regiment was paraded his 
men answered to the call to a man. But their services were not required ; the 
French were defeated at Alexandria, 21st March, 1801, and the Regiment was 


ordered home and reduced. Colonel Grant was elected to the Invenieea Burghs in 
1£06 ; to Elgin in 1807 ; and to the United Counties of Elgin and Nairn in 1833, 
which seat he held to 1840. He liad been a member of Parliament for 38 yeanv 
The Rev. Dr NicoU, of Mainn and Strathniartin, w»id of Colonel Grant. * He ii» 
naturally shy, and it i« nol mity to yet the Utter of tiaturttl »hyneM ; but he ia one of 
thorn who improve greatly on acquaintance, and whom you like the more 
you know them. . . . He ia a man of the strictest honour, integrity and virtue/* 
This was written when Colonel Grant was only 26 ; and this waK the character which 
he maintained all through life. For about 30 yean* he acted a« Curator for hl> 
brother, the Earl, and administered all the affaira of the cht-ikteA with mudi prudence 
and suooesA. He was one of the largciit plan tern in Scotland ; and it is recorded, in 
the Annals of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, that at the date 
of 1847 he had planted over £223 acres, and 31,686,482 young tree^, ScoU fins, 
larches, and hard-wood. He also did much to improve the |)olicies of CuIIen House 
and Castle Grant, in which he was greatly ai<»<irited by hib accomplished Lady. 
Colonel Grant was twice married. His iirnt wife was Mary Ann, only daughter of 
J. C. Dunn, Esq. When his eldest surviving son, Francis William, came of age 
(1835), there were great rejoicings in the coui-try. Mr Grant, "The Master,*' a^ he 
was always called, was at the time travelling abroad, but wnen he returned the 
festivities were renewed, and a public dinner wa:^ given him at Grantown 3rd 
January, 1838. He also visited some of the Gentlemen of the country, and spent 
some happy days at the Dell. The following extracts from private letters will show 
how much he was charmed with the country and the |)eople, and especially with 
Abemethy. Writing to Mr Forsyth, Dell, from Cullen House, 18th December. 1837, he 
says : — " I look forward with much delight to my vis^it to Strathsjiey, and although 
it will not be so long as I could wish, I will stay as long as I possibly can." Then 
when the visit wa*" past, he writes from Milton Brodie, 21 at Januar}', 1838 : — "The 
people down here are ttUking a great deal about our doings, and 1 am praiidng 
Al^emethy up to the skies for dancing and everything that is goo<l. 1 cannot repeat 
to you too often how very much I feel indebted to yourself and t<» Mrs Forsyth for 
all your kindness to me, fur I munt say, and / Ao/>e you will let it be knotniy that a 
happier fortnight I never spent. If I omitted calling on any one, it was Ui>t that 
the wish, but that the time was wanting. I only ho))e tliat you and Mrs Forovtb 
have not suffered from your exertions. I trust that you will keep me In the remem- 
brance of the people ol Abernethy, and keep alive the Kiit, Ganies, and Highland 
Flingt for next summer 1 hope to see all in perfection. Remember me to all my 
friends, and your neighbours, at Uothiemoon, and [mrticularly to Lewis Grant, aa 1 
depend upon liim to throw the hammer next time far l>eyond the Mason of Grantown." 
[Thomas Stewart and G rigor Burges-s, (kantown, htul carried olf the first prizes at 
the Games]. Mr Grant was M.P. for Inverne»s-«hire for three years (1838-1S40), 
He was universally belove<l, and his sudden death came as a great shock to all who 
knew him. His mother died 27th February, 1840, and "The Master" and his 


brother hurried down from London to attend the funeral. He arrived at Cullen 
House on the 10th March, and hia servant found him dead in his bed next morning. 
He seemed to have passed away gently in sleep. The mother and the son were buried 
in the Mausoleum at Duthil on the same day, and so mournful and affecting a 
ceremonial had never before taken place in Strathspey. The next Chief of Qrant 

XV. John Chakles (1863-1881). He was born 4th September, 1814. At the 
age of fourteen he entered the Navy as a Midshipman, and for some time served 
under Sir John Franklin, but retired on the death of his elder brother. He succeeded 
to the title and estates on the death of his father, 30th July, 1853. The same year 
he was elected one of the representative Peers of Scotland, which position he held 
till 1858, when he was created a Peer of the United Kingdom, with the title of Baron 
Strathspey of Strathspey. Lord Seafield, like his father, was a man of a shy 
and retiring du^position. He had his own convictions, but he did not choose to mix 
in the conflicts of political life. He preferred a quiet life upon his estates and 
amongst his own people. ** In all relations of life he was good and true. He was 
loyal to the priociples of his House and the hbtory of his Clan. He was an Elder of 
the National Church — a Presbyterian of Presbyterians— which counted for much 
ill a country where there is too often for the general well-being and union of classes 
a religious separation that divides ranks and sympathies." " He possessed in a large 
degree the ftpirit of justice, kindness, and liberality ; and it was his sincere wish, 
as it was hia constant endeavour, that every one of his numerous de})endants should 
be happy and comfortable. He did not like changes on hia estates, and when in the 
admiuistration of these, any tenant objected to a renewal at a liberal valuation, no 
one regretted the fact more than the landlord. If any tenant fell into arrears, in the 
payment of his rent, great consideration was shown by Lord Seafield, who granted 
indulgence after indulgence till better times came to the unfortunate tenant. 
Lord Seafield's improvements upon his estates took a very practical form, the 
erection of new steadings and farm-houses, the reclamation of ^-aste land, and 
the construction of roads. He also enlarged the extensive plantations made 
by his father"— (Sir W. Fraeer). Thus, whilst adding to the amenity, he 
largely increased the value of his estates. Sir W. Eraser states that during the 27 
years of Lord Seafield's possession, the sum expended in improvements amounted to 
upwards of half a million pounds sterling. It is easy to see how the expenditure 
of such an enormous sum must have contributed largely, both directly and indirectly, 
to the comfort and advantage of his tenants. " In other things, also, Lord Seafield 
was thoroughly sensible of the responsibilities of his high position. As a holder of 
many ecclesiastical preferments, lie was always careful and conscientious in the 
exercise of his duties ae jiatron, till the Act of 1874 abolished the exercise of these 
patronages" (Sir W. Fiaser). Lord Seafield married, on 12th August, 1850, the 
Honourable Caroline Stuart, youngest daughter of Robert Walter, eleventh Lord 
Blantyre. His death took place at Cullen House on the 18th February, 1881, when 
he was succeeded by his only ion, 


XVI. Ian Charlbs Grant Ooiltie (18S1-1884). Earl laa'0 life, though brief, w 
bright, and eDriched by many good deeds and the charm of a delightful persooality. At 
his birth there were great rejoicingri over the estate* ; and when he came of age the 
rejoicings were renewed with still greater zest and splendour. A banquet, followed 
by a ball, was given to the Strathnjiey tenantry and friends in a magniiioent panlioo 
erected in front of the Castle, and a portrait, with an address with about a thottnaod 
signatures, were presented to the young Chief. Tlie Master replied in very felicitous 
terms. He said :— -" Sir Patrick Grant and Gentlemen, I would that I knew of, ot 
could for the occasion coin, a word of stronger, deeper meaning than grmtitude ; but 
even were there such a word, it would not in the very least express the very half of 
what my heart feels to you all for this magnificent token of good- will and &ffectioo— 
affection to me, as the son of your Chief. Tlie lil^rality and unanimity of the wbok 
proceeding are all but unprecedented, and show how the Grants retain the old C?l*n 
feeling, even to having my portrait paintetl by a P.R.A., himself a Gr«nt, and with 
Craigellacliie introduced into it, to remind me always to * stand fast.* What jou 
have done, aud what Sir Patrick has to day said as siMkesman for Strathspey will, 
please God, niake me more earneMtly strive to past my life so as best to repay the 
love of my parents, and the anxiety the Clan have felt that I should follow in their 
footsteps, and endeavour to be a worthy inheritor of our grand old name — a name 
made famous by so many. . . ." And nobly and well did he strive to act up to 
this high ideaL Born of a great house, with great traditions, one " to whom a 
thousand memories called," it was his ambition to make for himself a noble name. 

" Tlie world that cares for what is done, 
Is cold to all that might have been." 

But with Lord Seafield there was not only promise, but performance. Modest, 
gentle, kind-hearted, courteous ; faithful to his convictions, he earnestly endeavoured, 
to the best of his ability, to discharge all the duties belonging to his position. It 
could not be said of him tliat his titles were borne without desert. And more and 
more, as he gained confidence and exjjerience, the hoi)es of his friends were noised 
and the future grew brighter with the promise of honour and usefulness. It seemed 
as if he was to be a power for good amongst his people. All the more painful waii 
the shock, and all the more poignant the grief caused by his early and unexpected 
death. I»rd Seafield died in London, after a short illness, Slst March, 1884. The 
funeral took place from Cat-tie Grant on the 9th April. When Lord Seafield's father 
was interred, it was winter, and the storm without liarmonised with the gloom 
within ; but when the son was canied to his long home, it was spring ; the time of 
the singing of birds was come, and all around were the signs of reviving life and 
gladness. It was all the sadder, at sucli a time, to think how a life so precious, and 
so rich in promise, had been cut short. I^ady Seafield, by her son's will, succeeded 
to all the estates, and she has proved herself worthy of this high trust By her 
abimdant chariUeB ; her generous treatment of her tenants, to whom onoe and again 




in bad yean she has given large reductions of rent ; and her steadfast support of all 
measures fitted to promote the social and religious interests of her people, she his 
shown that it was her aim to follow in the steps of her husband and son, and to fill 
up what had by them been left behind of good works to be done. 

Lady Seafield has caused a handsome marble tablet to be placed in the Parish 
Church, and in other Churches on the Estates, with the following inscription : — 


Sir John Chables Ooilyib Grant, 

7th Earl of Seafield, K.T. 

Bom '4th September, 1815. Died 18th February, 1881. 

And his only child, 

Sir Ian Charlbb Ogilvib Grant, 

8th Earl of Seafield. 

Bom 7th October, 1851. Died 81st March, 1884. 

Generous supporters of the Church, and devoted to the trae welfare 
of their people. 




Abernethy. from its central position, is nearly connected with 
several other districts. This has led in the course of time to a 
large infusion of people from various clans. Gordons have come 
from the east, Stewarts, Murrays, and Robertsons from the south, 
and Mackintashes, Macphersons, Macdonalds, and Camerons 
from the west. Cummings, Mackays, Mackenzies, and Mac- 
gregors, and other clans have also had their representatives, but 
the predominant name has for long been that of Grant. Some- 
times a family or sept is called after its founder. Thus there are 
Grants who are called Gabies, after a Gabriel of Lurg. There 
are Macrobies (Glenlochy) from Robert, Macjockies (Tulloch) or 
Macooks, from Jock or John, and Macconachies (Gartenbeg) 
from Duncan, and so on. Other families obtained their name 
from some peculiarity in appearance, showing the persistency of 
colour and features. Thus there are Odhar, or dun Grants; 
Dearg, or red Grants; and Ciar, or grey dusky Grants. The 
Stewarts ot Kincardine were noted for their florid complexion 
and red hair. Sir Walter, the first of the house, was called the 
Ridir ruadh, red knight, and the last, three hundred years later, 
was always known as John Roy, or red. In other cases families 
were named, and so discriminated, from some remarkable 
incident connected with their origin. Of these some examples 
may be given. 

The Grants of the Trough.— The legend as to this race 
is found in Chapman's MS. History of the Grants, and seems to 
have been taken from there, with additions and variations, by 
Sir Walter Scott and others. The stor>% as told in the •* Tales of 
a Grandfather," is as follows ; — ** The Farquharsons of Deeside, a 


bold and warlike people, had taken offence at and slain a 
gentleman of consequence, named Gordon of Brackley. The 
Marquis of Huntly sunimoned his forces, to take a bloody 
vengeance for the death of a Gordon, and that none of the guilt}'^ 
tribe might escape, communicated with the I^aird of Grant, a 
very powerful chief, who was an ally of Huntly, and a relation, 
I believe, to the slain Baron of Brackley." A terrible massacre 
of the Farquharsons followed. About a year after, the Laird of 
Grant was a guest at Strathbogie Castle. When dinner was 
over, Huntly said that he would shew him some rare sport. He 
took Grant to a balcony, from which he saw all the remains of 
the feast flung into a long wooden trough, such as were used for 
swine. ** While Grant was wondering what this could mean, the 
master cook gave a signal with his silver whistle, on which a 
hatch, like that of a dog kennel, was raised, and there rushed 
into the kitchen some shrieking, some shouting, some yelling — 
not a pack of hounds, which in number, noise, and tumult they 
resembled, but a huge mob of children, half naked, and totally 
wild in their manners, who threw themselves on the contents of 
the trough, and fought, struggled, bit, scratched and clamoured, 
each to get the largest share." Grant asked an explanation of 
the strange sight, and was told that the little wretches were the 
children of the Farquharsons, who had been slain the year before. 
The Laird, greatly shocked, said, " My sword helped to make the 
poor children orphans, and it is not fair that your lordship should 
be burdened with all the expense of maintaining them. You 
have supported them for a year and a day, allow me now to take 
them to Castle Grant, and keep them for the same period at my 
cost." The result was that the Laird got half the lot, whom he 
dispersed among his clan, and brought up decently, giving them 
his own name of Grant. 

Sir Walter connects the story with the murder of Gordon of 
Brackley by Farquharson of Inveray, commemorated in the well- 
known ballad **The Baron of Brackley." This tragedy took 
place in 1666. There was another murder of a Brackley by the 


Mackintoshes as far back as 1592. Browne, in his History of the 
Highlands, says— *' The Baron was much addicted to hospitality, 
and, unsuspicious of any bad design against him, he entertaivied 
the hostile party in his best manner, but they afterwards basely 
murdered him." Perhaps there may have been a mixing of these 
two events, and ol others, as often happens, in the ultimate form 
of the legend. The tradition of the country is that Seumas-nan- 
Creach, James of the Forays (d. 1553), was the hero of the story, 
and that the Farquharsons who settled in Strathspey were called, 
some M'Finlay Roys, others M Jameses, and so forth. Some of 
their descendants remain to this day, and are known as the 
'' Race of the Trough," G. Sliochd-an-Amair. 

The Atholl Stewarts.— This story is given as narrated by 
the late William Cameron, Tomgown, TuUoch. Some three or 
four hundred years ago there were two Atholl men, a Stewart and 
a Robertson, who had twelve sons each, " under bonnets." The 
King heard of them, and wished to see them. They set out for 
Scone. At the gate they disputed as to precedency. The 
Stewarts claimed to go first, as the King was a Stewart The 
Robertsons said they were as good men as the Stewarts, and 
would not yield. From words they came to blows. The fight 
was long and bloody. At last but two Stewarts and one Robert- 
son were left alive. Robertson swam the Tay, and roused his 
clan. The Stewarts had to fly. They crossed the hills to 
Badenoch, but found no rest. On they came to Rothiemurchus, 
but still they were not safe. At Coylum they were hard pressed, 
and thought it best to separate. The one took the low road by 
the Spey, and the other took the high road by the hills through 
TuUoch. At Rothiemoon there lived a man who was a turner by 
trade. He had but one eye, and was called An Tuamcar Chtn^ 
He was busy at his work. Stewart told him his story. "My 
life," he said, "is in your hands ; save me, if you can." The 
turner said, ** Change coats with me, and get up into my place." 
This was done. Then the turner went out, and started across 
the Nethy. The Robertsons, coming up, saw him running, and 


followed hard in pursuit. At Achemack they came up with him. 
But, to their disgust, they found that he was old and one-eyed, 
and not at all the man they sought. They asked angrily why he 
had run from them. He answered, why had they run after him. 
He was only in a hurry to do his errand. Then they left him, 
and turned back. At Rothiemoon, where there was a village 
ale-house, they rested, and amused themselves by shooting at a 
mark. The lad of the loom was made to fetch their arrows. He 
did this for a while, and then said he was tired of fetching and 
carrying like a dog every time one of them shot. Let them 
shoot all their arrows, and then he would bring them back in one 
bundle. This they did. Then Stewart had them at advantage. 
The result was that they let him off. Stewart married the 
turner's daughter. His descendants were called Sliochd-an- 
iuamcar-cham, the Stewarts of the one-eyed turner. One of the 
race, who died lately, was a landed proprietor in the Laich of 
Moray. The other Stewart kept by the hills. At Landichen he 
met a farmer driving out dung to his field, with a white mare, in 
a /J^a«— the rude wicker cart of those days. He craved for help 
— ** My life is in your hands." The farmer told him to lie down, 
and then emptied the contents of the cart over him. Soon after 
the pursuers came up. They asked the fanner if he had seen 
such and such a man pass. His answer was, "He was here a 
little while ago. You might seek him yonder by the Laggan- 
dubh." They set off in haste, and were seen no more. Stewart 
was taken to Landichen, and in due course married the farmer's 
daughter. His descendants were called Stiubhardaich-an-lhban, 
the Stewarts of the Lbban, or otherwise 5. an-ldir-bhan, the 
Stewarts of the White Mare. They are said to have held the 
farms of Landichen and Lethnachyle for three hundred years. 
The head of the family, as appears from Session records, was 
generally an elder of the Church, and come of their descendants 
have done good service to their country. The late Mr John 
Stewart, who died at Springfield, near Forres, in 1847, and whose 
career is traced in another chapter, was one of them. 



The Cambrons op Kincardine.— Donald, fifth Baron of 
Kincardine, who lived about the beginning of the i6th century, 
married for his second wife a daughter of Lochiel. The lady 
craved as her tocher, not money, but men. Her father complied 
with her request, and gave her twelve of the choicest young lads 
of the clan as her body-guard. They accompanied her to Spey- 
side, and most of them are said to have settled in the countr>\ 
They were called in Gaelic Na Gillean maol dubh, the black, 
bonnetless lads. But probably the epithet maol should not be 
translated bald or bonnetless, but may rather have been given 
them from the appearance which they presented by wearing flat 
steel caps. Tradition says that they were commanded by the 
famous Lochaber hero, Taillear-dubh-na-tuaighc, the Black Tailor 
of the Axe, but this seems a mistake. The dates do not agree. 
At the same time, it may be taken as certain that the Taillear 
must have visited his kinsfolk at Kincardine in his expeditions. 
His name and deeds have been always cherished in the north, 
and to this day he is spoken of as the notable warrior who 
defeated The Mackintosh (Chuir ruaig air Mhic-an-loisichJ, 
Probably it was because of his renown that he came to be claimed 
as the Captain of the Bonnetless Lads. His name would add 
some lustre to the band, and give a kind of reflected glor>' to 
their descendants. The Bonnetless Lads must have been men of 
wile and worth, and with plenty of grit. They were not only able 
to hold their own amidst the Stewarts, but they spread out to Tul- 
loch and Garten and Abernethy, and not a few of their descendants 
remain to this day, holding good positions in the country. 
It is said the Baron's lady did not live long. Her heart pined 
for her old home, and she may have said, as many have sadly 
said since, " I'll may be return to Lochaber no more." When 
she was on her death-bed she was troubled at the thought of 
lying so far from her kindred, and her pride could not brook the 
getting of the second place beside her husband. The Baron, to 
pacify her, gave his word that she should be buried in Lochaber 
ground. The lady died, and the Baron fulfilled his promise by 


building for her a special tomb, which he carefully laid with 
earth fetched all the way from Lochaber. In a manuscript of the 
beginning of last century, it is said that her tomb was then a 
remarkable object in the churchyard. But gradually it wore 
away, and only the tradition remained of its existence. Recently, 
however, some light was thrown upon the matter. In 1885 a 
granite obelisk was erected to the memory of the Stewarts of 
Kincardine, and in digging for the foundations, the tomb was dis- 
covered. It consisted of a narrow space, sufficient for a single 
grave, enclosed by a wall of masonry, and at the depth of about 
three feet, a skeleton was come upon — doubtless that of the lady. 
The skull was in singularly good preservation, beautifully 
formed, and with all the teeth entire. Some fragments of wood 
and a nail or two were also found, and what was a touching 
relic, a spur covered with rust. Perhaps the spur had belonged 
to Sir Donald, and he may have placed it beside his lady as a 
token of his love and devotion. A rare plant grows in the 
churchyard, the Dwarf Elder {Sambucus Ebulus), which is called 
the Lady's Flower. It is said to have come in the earth taken 
from Lochaber. 

The families of Achemack, Gartinbeg, and TuUoch belonged 
probably to the original inhabitants, and took the name of Grant 
when the Laird of Preuchie became supreme in the country. In 
the Gartenmore MS., 1747, it is said that it was the custom of the 
chiefs to oblige *' all the farmers and cottars that got possessions 
on their grounds to take their names. In a generation or two, 
it is believed that they really are of that name, and this not only 
adds to the number of the clan, and keeps it up, but superinduces 
the tye of kindred to the obligation and interest of the former." 
There was a John McConquhy or Macconachie Grant at 
Gartinbeg in 1537, and from him came the Grants of Kinveachy, 
Balintomb, Inverlaidnan, and Delrachny. James Grant, advocate 
(1686), who obtained a Nova Scotia Baronetcy in 1688, and 
afterwards purchased the lands of Dalvey, was of this family. 
The present representative of the Dalveys is Sir Ludovic James 
Grant, Professor of Public Law in the University of Edinburgh. 


The family of Achemack, Clan Allan, had their first home at 
Dunan, near Castle Grant, which was sold to John Grant of 
Freuchie in 1589. There is a bond of service by James Grant 
of Achemack to James Grant of Freuchie in 1655. This James 
Grant was Chamberlain of Grant, and it was he who arrested and 
took to Edinburgh (1660) the famous raider " The Halkit Stirk.'* 
In 1777 the Chieftainship, with all rights appertaining, was by 
deed and in presence of the Lyon Depute, transferred by " Neil 
Grant, eldest lawful son of the deceased John Grant in Lincome, 
and nephew to Duncan Grant of Achemack, who died in the month 
of October last without male issue," to his cousin, Dr Gregory 
Grant, physician in Edinburgh. The motto of the Achemack 
Grants was "Stand Sure" (Craigrevack). The two-handed 
sword that belonged to Achemack, as Chamberlain, is in the 
possession of Miss Grant, Achemack Cottage, Forres, the last 
surviving member (aged 98) of the family of Colonel Grant of 

The Grants of Kilgraston, in Perthshire, are descended 
from Robert Grant of Glenlochy in this parish. In 1620 
(30th April), Donald Grant M*Alister vie Robie, grandson of 
Robert, renounced the Wadset cf Glenlochy wth M*Eagle's 
croft, mill and mill lands thereof, in favour of John Grant of 
Freuchie, for the redemption money of 500 merks, and on the 
following day received from him a wadset of an annual rent of 
£^0 Scots to be uplifted from the lands of Glenlochy. He was 
succeeded by his son Alister. Then followed Gregor, John, 
Patrick ; and then another Patrick, who married Beatrix, 
daughter of Donald Grant of Inverlochy, and was father of John 
Grant, who studied for the English Bar, was afterwards Chief 
Justice of Jamaica, and on his retirement purchased the estate of 
Kilgraston. John Grant having no issue, was succeeded by his 
brother Francis, who became the progenitor of the Kilgrastons- 
Two of his sons attained high eminence, the one in art, the other 
in arms — Sir Francis Grant, who was President of the Royal 
Academy, and General Sir James Hope Grant, G.C.B,, who 
distinguished himself greatly in China and India. 


LuRG. — The first of this family was Robert Grant, a younger 
son of Duncan Grant, yr. of Freuchie. In 1620, he obtained 
from his brother John, fifth of Freuchie, who succeeded his 
grandfather, a lease of the lands of Clachaig, which included 
Lurg. In 1628 he was appointed by his nephew. Sir John Grant, 
Bailie of the Grant Baronies, and joint Chamberlain of his 
estates, and held these offices till his death in 1634. He was 
succeeded by his son John (1634), who married Margaret, 
daughter of William Mackintosh of Kyllachie, who survived him, 
and afterwards married Robert Grant of Elchies. The next Lurg 
was William, who married Helen, daughter of Archibald Grant 
of Ballintomb. He had a wadset of Clachack, and paid cess for 
Rothiemoon. In 1709, with consent of his eldest son, he 
disponed his estates to his second son Robert. He was a man of 
much shrewdness and ability, and was commonly called Stacan, 
or the Stubborn. His portrait is at Castle Grant. His sister 
Lilian married John Grant of Bumside, and his daughter Ann 
married John Grant of Kinchirdy, and is said to have had seven 
sons and seven daughters. The present representative of the 
Kinchirdy family, grandson of John Grant, is Colonel Gregory 
Colquhoun Grant, late Session Judge, Kurrachee-Sinde. Robert 
was succeeded (1772) by his eldest son, Lieut. -Colonel John 
Grant, and he by his son, Lieut. John Grant. The latter 
fortunes of the family are summed up significantly in the Gaelic 
lines still current in the country — 

RitiJi an t-Seanar dhn, 
Thog am Mac tur^ 
*5 mhiin an t-Ogh E. 

i.e., the grandfather made a pile, the son built a house, and the 
grandson spent all. The grandson made himself obnoxious by 
his zeal in recruiting, and his dissolute life. He died in the 
Sanctuary at Holyrood, 21st December, 1821. There are two 
anecdotes of old '* Stacan " worth preserving. On one occasion 
he had a quarrel with Balliemore, and, it is said, wounded him 
severely. For this he was fined, and, when paying the money, he 


said, with grim humour, Bu chbir dhomh a chnimhaigjhaighean dc 
phaigh mi an eiric, I should surely get the remains since I have 
paid the ransom. There had for long been a keen dispute 
between Lurg and others as to the site of the mill, which was at 
last settled by the mill being set up in the Garlin. **Stacan" 
was much vexed at this, and one day that he was visiting a 
neighbour, who was on his death-bed, he said to him as a message 
to his father in the other world — Innis dha 'm athair, ciomar tha 
sinn uile gu leir, agus gu bkeil Muilinn na-K abhainn ruadh blcith 
min *sa Gharlinn, Tell my father how we all are, and that the Mill 
of the Redburn is making meal at the Garlin. Mrs Grant of 
Laggan tells that such messages by dying people to departed 
friends were not uncommon in the Highlands. There is a curious 
story of the kind told of the late Rev. Rowland Hill. Once, on 
a preaching excursion, he suddenly exclaimed, ** I must go to 
Cambridge, and see the widow of an old clergyman, who is living 
there, for I have a message to leave with her.'* He was asked if 
the message was important, and replied, ** Yes, sir, I want the old 
lady, who will soon be in heaven, to give my love to Johnny 
Stittle. and to tell him I shall soon see him again." Hill's 
message, though marked by his usual oddness, was somewhat 
more spiritual than that of *' Old Stacan." 




Christianity was probably introduced into Strathspey from 
lona in the sixth century, though there are reasons for believing 
that it had been known earlier in some districts in the Highlands 
(cf. Mackay's ** Urquhart and Glenmoriston," p. 32). The South 
of Scotland was deeply indebted to St Ninian, St Kentigern, and 
St Cuthbert, but we in the North gratefully acknowledge St 
Columba as our Chief Apostle. It was by him and his disciples 
that '* the benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion" 
were brought to our fathers. There is a Church of Columba at 
Kingussie, and one of Adamnan at Insh, where the old Celtic 
Bell still remains as a venerable relic ; and the Churches of 
Rothiemurchus and Cromdale were dedicated to Celtic Saints. 
In this parish there are names and legends referring to these 
ancient days, but the rude stone fonts which lie near the Church 
doors at Abemethy and Kincardine are almost the only relics 
which remain. 

Kincardine Church is called by the old people ** Eaglais 
7 homhaldidhr A well near the Church is called " Tobar Thomh 
aldidh*' and a ridge of land in Wester TuUoch bears the name of 
'* Imir Thomhaldidhy There is a curious legend connected with 
the latter place, which is found in other forms in other parts of 
the Highlands. It is said that long ago the Lairds of Kincardine 
and Tulloch disputed as to the site of the Church. The one 
wanted it built on his land, and the other was as determined that 
it should be erected on his. Stones were brought and laid down 
in Tulloch, but in some mysterious fashion they found their way 
before morning to Kincardine. This happened several times. 
At last it was accepted as a sign from heaven, and the Church 


was built at Kincardine. But the bit of land at Tulloch was held 
sacred, and it bears the Saint's name to this day. Who Tomh- 
aldidh was is not known. Probably he was one of Columba's 
missionaries sent out from holy lona, and the fact of his name 
having been attached to the Church and sundr>' other places 
shows how much the people revered his memor>'. " O how great 
was the fervour of all religious persons in the beginning of Holy 
Institutions. How great their devotion in prayer; how g^reat 
their longing for virtue . . . Their footsteps yet remaining, 
testify that they were indeed holy and perfect men, who, fighting 
so valiantly, trod the world under their feet" (De Imitatione, 
B. I., Ch. i8). But ii the gospel came first from the West, it was 
from the East and North-east that it was afterwards proclaimed. 
Troublous times came upon lona, Again and again it was 
ravaged by the Norsemen (a.d. 795, 802, 805). At last, dreading 
utter ruin, the See and sacred relics were removed to Dunkeld 
(850). What advantage may have resulted to Strathspey from 
the seat of religious government being nearer, at Dunkeld 
instead of lona, is not known. The Bishopric of Moray is said 
to have been founded by Alexander I. in 1107. The Cathedral 
Church Wwis first at Birnie, a seat of the Culdees (1184), then at 
Spynie (1203), and then at Elgin, where the foundations of the 
magnificent edifice erected there were laid by Andrew, the 
7th Bishop, on the 19th of July, 1224. The Cathedral was 
richly endowed and equipped, and from it, ** The Lanthom of 
the North," the light radiated not only over the Laich of Moray, 
but to the far off glens and straths of the Uplands. The See of 
Moray was anciently divided into four divisions — Elgin, Inver- 
ness, Strathbogie, and Strathspey. The Decanaius or Deanery 
of Strathspey embraced the Churches of Cromdale and Advie, 
Kingussie and Insh, Duthil, Inveran, Abernethy, Kincardine, 
Rothiemurchus, Logykenny, and Alvie " (Reg. Mor. 361). One 
of the earliest notices of the Church at Abernethy is in a 
Donation by Richard, Bishop of Moray, who died in 1203. In 
1226 there was a contention between the Church and the pro- 


prietor or feuar of the lands in Abernethy, the former being 
represented by Andrew, Bishop of Moray, and the latter by 
James, the son of Morgnnd. The dispute regarded a piece of 
land at Coningas, and another piece at Abernethy, and also as to 
the sum paid to the Crown in the name of Cain teinds by the 
predecessors of James. The matter was finally settled ; James 
and his heirs were to be freed from all exactions made by the 
Bishops of Moray or the Dean and Canons, and in return bound 
himself to provide a suitable manse near the Church, with a croft 
extending to one acre convenient thereto ^ and also to pay one mark 
yeafly in token of the agf cement beitig firmly and perpetually 
observed. There had been a Papal interdict in 1217, which must 
have greatly hindered all good work; but it was removed in 
1 2x8. Andrew, Bishop of Moray, seems then to have vigorously 
bestirred himself in the interests of the Church. He not only 
settled the dispute as to land at Abernethy, but about the same 
time, 1226, he made a grant constituting two prebends ** for the 
farther diflfusion of Divine Worship," assigning to each of them 
a Church and Manse, with a salary of ten marks, the mark being 
then about equal to one chalder of grain. One of these prebends 
was at Kingussie or Insh. Abernethy seems therefore to have 
had the priority, and to have been from the first the most 
important centre, and this may account for its afterwards being 
made the seat of Presbytery. In 1^29 there is reference to both 
Abernethy and Kincardine in a grant by Bishop Andrew (Shaw). 
Walcott (Scot. Mon., p. 374) states that in 1460 a Collegiate 
Church was founded at Abernethy (Morayshire) by George, Earl 
of Angus, and he has been followed in this by Rankin and others. 
But the statement is erroneous. Walcott is notorious for 
inaccuracy, and his references are often, as in this case, irrele- 
vant and unreliable. The error arose from confounding two 
parishes of the same name, and assigning to Abernethy in 
Morayshire what properly belonged to the more famous Aber- 
nethy in Perthshire. It is hard to have to relinquish the honour, 
unchallenged for long ; but truth must be upheld. The Rev. D. 


Butler in his learned work (1897) ^^ made the facts abundantly 
clear (" The Ancient Church and Parish of Abemethy," p. 270- 
295). The history of religion in Abemethy for the next two or 
three hundred years is very obscure. But there are some relics 
and memories of those dark days. There is a well in the Braes 
called "The Well of the Virgin," and another in Kincardine 
called "The Nun's Well"; there is a farm in TuUoch called 
" Chapelton," from a Chapel, the site of which is still recognis- 
able, and on the road leading to it, at the foot of the Torr hill, 
there is a place called in Gaelic " Siaoir-na-Manach'' the Monk's 
Bridge. Shaw says "there was a Chapel in Coninges, in the 
east of the parish, and another two miles above the Church on 
the bank of Ntthie." The site of the Congash Chapel was in a 
field to the east of the house, near the old road, where there are 
the remains of a cemeter>% probably pre-historic, and two 
remarkable sculptured stones.^ The other Chapel may have 
been at Lethnachyle, to the east of the Dorback, where, 
according to tradition, the earliest settlement took place, 
and where, on the hill called Tom-na-cairbhe, there are 
remains of cairns, hut circles, and an old burying- ground. 
As to Chapelton, it is touching to picture the good Monk 
plodding his weary way from time to time through wood 
and moor, to hold sendee in the heights of Tulloch, and, finding 
the morass at the Torr almost impassable, taking pains to con- 
struct one of those rude crossings that served for bridges in 
those ancient days. His kindly deed was but an earnest of the 
many beneficent things that should be done by the Church, and 
though his own name is forgotten, the record of his work 
remains. As to the period from the Reformation to the 
Revolution Settlement, little information can be given. There 
is a letter from Archbishop Spottiswood to the Laird of Grant 
(i6th June, 1616), which shews the desolation of the Kirks of 
Strathspey at this period. The Archbishop writes that, as he 
was informed, " all exercise of religion" was wanting, and that 
" atheism, idolatrie and every sorte of wickedness" prevailed. 
^ See Appendixi Note 5. 


Then he boldly charges the I^aird, though^he was ** not a pro- 
fessour with them," with being responsible for this sad state of 
things, especially by his ** abstractinge the rentis of the Kirk 
from their right use, and applying them to his own privaf ends," 
and he warns him that there was **no sinne equal to that of 
murthering souUs, and that his conduct was unsufferable." He 
had been urged to bring him to question, but he chose rather to 
** admonish him by letter hoping that he would not be so 
irreligiouse as to contemn all his warnings." The Archbishop 
concludes by ** desyring the I<aird, with the advys of the Bishop 
of Murray, to take order for providing his Kirkis with stipendis, 
competent, as he wold haif God Almychtie his blessinge and be 
well estemit of, with them that love the Lord Jesus," but 
threatening " more strict and rigorous dealings" if compliance 
were refused. What the effect of this courageous letter was is 
not known, but the evils complained of would be so far remedied 
by the Act of Parliament of 1617, by which stipends were secured 
from the Teinds. Later still (1628), Dr John Forbes, leader of 
Aberdeen doctors, has a passage of much significance as to *' the 
present condition of the Church of Scotland" (Theologiae Moralis, 
Lib. VIII., 3-13, as quoted by Professor Cooper)— " Some men 
will tell you ihat there remains abundance to the Church for all 
religious purposes. But this is monstrous impudence tempered 
with bitter sarcasm ; after ye have robbed the Church, and 
devoured it like a dragon, and filled your belly with delicates 
(Jeremiah li., 34), to speak of its calamity and poverty as wealth 
and plenty is a savage joke." " What shall I say," he goes on, 
*' of the Highlanders of Mar, Strathavon, Strathspey, AthoU, 
Badenoch, Lochaber, and other similar districts ? . . Parishes 
formerly manageable have now, to our shame be it said, at the 
bidding of men's service, been so united, now to this one, now 
to another, that the poor solitary pastor, however much he may 
attempt, can accomplish nothing." Shaw speaks to the same 
effect. He says ** in the year 1650 the country of Lochaber was 
totally destitute, and no Protestant ministers had before that 


time been planted there. And when the number of ministers 
increased, very few of them understood the Erse (Gaelic) 
language, and teachers ivefc settled in the Highlands who were nure 
barbarians (ist Cor. xiv., ii.) to the people. Through want of 
Schools, few had any literary education ; and they who had 
would not dedicate themselves to the ministr>' when the lixnngs 
were so poor as not afford bread." Principal Robertson, in a 
sermon pieached before the Society in Scotland for Propagating 
Christian Knowledge, in 1750, gives an equally sad picture of the 
Highlands. He says— *' Here society still appears in a rude and 
imperfect form. Strangers to industrj-, averse from labour, 
inured to rapine, the fierce inhabitants scorned all the arts of 
peace, and stood ready for ever>' bold and desperate action. 
Attached to their own customs, from ignorance and habit, they 
have hitherto continued a separate people, and though the 
religion established among them be the same which we enjoy, 
its progress hath been imperfect, and the fixed pastors were 
never able to surmount the disadvantages of their situation or 
the obstinacy of their people." 

Of the long and bitter strife, and the ups and downs between 
Episcopacy and Presbyter>% there are no records in our parish. 
Shaw divides the time from the Reformation to the Revolution 
into seven periods: — I. 1560- 1572 — Presbytery was the govern- 
ment of the Church. II. 1572-1592 — During which a sort of 
Episcopacy ruled. III. 1592-1610— Strictly Presbyterian. IV. 
1610-1638 — Episcopacy again dominant. V. 1638-1662 — Presby- 
tery again revived. VI. 1662-1690— Government by Bishops 
restored, and great persecutions. VII. 1690 — Presbyterian 
government restored and established by Act of Parliament, and 
the General Assembly met for the first time since 1652. 

The Synod of Moray met at Forres, June 23, 1702, and erected 
themselves into three Presbyteries — the united Presbytery of 
Inverness and Forres, the united Presbytery of Elgin, Aberloure, 
and Abemethie, and the Presby ter>' of Strathbogie. The number 
of ministers increasing, Aberlour and Abernethye were separated 


from Elgin, 1707, and made a distinct Presbytery. Then, in 1709, 
Aberlour and Abemethy were disjoined, and made two Presby- 
teries, and so they have continued. At the Revolution the Laird 
of Grant was very zealous to have legal ministers planted in his 
own estates. John Stewart at Cromdale, Suene Grant at Duthil, 
and James Grant at Abernethy, refused or neglected to take the 
oaths to Government, and were summarily ejected, and their 
churches shut up. One deplorable result of this action was that 
the church of Abernethy was without a minister for the long 
period of nineteen years — 1689- 1709 ! 

The church at Kincardine is very old. The walls date from 
long before the Reformation, and, as proof of this, there is in the 
south wall a little lancet window which antiquaries have declared 
to be a " leper window," sometimes in England called " a squint," 
b}' which persons not free to enter might obtain a glimpse of the 
celebration of the Mass.^ Chapman, in his MS. History of the 
Grants, tells of a terrible tragedy that was enacted in this church. 
The story is that, in the 15th century, the I>ird of Grant 
or his son was murdered by the Cummings when on a visit to 
the Barons of Kincardine. The murderers were pursued, and 
took refuge in the church. The Grants, with their friends, the 
Stewarts, shrank from desecrating the holy place, when one of 
their number solved the difficulty by shooting a burning arrow 
into the heather-thatched roof The building was soon in a 
blaze, and all the Cummings perished save one, a man of gigantic 
stature, who forced his way out, but was afterwards killed by the 
blow of a two-handed sword, *' which sword," says the chronicler, 
** to this day lies in the representative of Clan Cheran's house." 
The church was recently (1897) restored at a cost of upwards of 
;^330, the Heritors contributing ;^i30, the remainder being raised 
by grants from the Baird Trust and the General Assembly's 
Highland Committee, and subscriptions from the parishioners 
and friends. 

The church of Abemethy is a modem building. It was 
erected about a hundred years ago, and in 1874 i^ was repaired 
^ See Appendix, Note 6. 


and remodelled at the expense of the Heritors, from p1ai«^ Dy Mr 
A. M. Mac'cenzie, architect. The old custom was for the parish 
minister to ser\'e both churches, the service being at Abemethy 
for two Sabbaths, and everj' third Sabbath at Kincardine. The 
evils of this were great, and in 1866, through the eflForts of the 
present incumbent, an arrangement was made whereby Kincardine 
was made a royal bounty station, and since then divine service 
has been maintained regularly in both churches. 

The patron saints of Kincardine and Abemethy aie St Cath- 
arine and St George. These nre not Celtic Saints, and their 
names must have been introduced in later days through changes 
of property. There are several Saints of the name of Catharine, 
Catharine of Sienna (1347), Catharine of Bologna (1381), Cath- 
arine of Genoa (1447), but our Catharine was the most famous 
of all, Catharine of Alexandria, who was martyred about 307 
A.D. It is said she was put to death on a wheel of fire, and the 
wheel is always placed beside her in her pictures as a sign of 
martyrdom. Catharine was called by the Greeks **The Ever 
Pure." The Philosophical Society of Paris took her as their 
Patroness, and she has been held, all over ChrivStendom, as a 
pattern of wisdom and piety. In one of the Madonnas in the 
National Gallery (London) by the famous painter Ambrogia 
Borgogne, there is a beautiful picture of Catharine. She is 
represented on the right of the Virgin, her hand is stretched out, 
and the Child Jesus is represented as placing the mystic ring of 
matrimony on her finger. In her left hand she holds the palm 
of martyrdom. On her head is a golden diadem, from under 
which her hair streams in wavy locks below her waist. At her 
feet is a wheel with hooked spikes, the emblem and witness of 
the sufferings she bore for Christ. Her face is exquisitely mild 
and sweet. 

St George is the patron saint of Abemethy. St George was 
properly of Lydda, in Syria. He is said to have been of good 
birth, to have served as a military tribune under Diocletian, and 
to have been martyred in 303. Multitudes of Christian Churches 


have been dedicated to him in the East and the West. Richard 
the Crusader did much to make his fame known in England, and 
in the time of Edward III. he was made patron saint Since 
then no name has been better known or more popular. Spenser 
made him his hero as the Red Cross Knight ; and in many a 
fight, from Acre to Agincourt, and down to our own day, the crj' 
of " St George and Merry England" has roused men to deeds of 
valour, and led to victory. The legend of St George and the 
Dragon can be traced to the sixth century. It was probably due 
to two causes — the coincidence of the martyr's fame with the 
triumph of Christianity over Paganism, and the transference to 
him of the myth of Perseus and Andromeda. What connection 
St George had with Abernethy is not known. Probably the 
Church was originally dedicated to some Celtic saint, and the 
change to St George introduced in honour of some local magnate. 
But it may be asked, What are these old names to us ? That 
depends very much on ourselves. It is the fact, however it may 
be accounted for, that these names stand connected with our 
parish. They have done so for hundreds of years. We have had 
no choice in the matter. But recognising the fact, we may turn 
it to some good use. Suppose we look on St Catharine, with her 
palm-branch— sweet, gentle, self-sacrificing, faithful unto death — 
as the type of true womanhood ; and St George, strong and 
brave to do the right, to redress the wrongs of the weak and the 
oppressed, slaying the dragon of evil with the lance of truth, as 
the type of noble manhood ; and that the young men and 
maidens amongst us from year to year strive in the name of our 
common Lord and Master to follow their example, then these 
names would become once more inspiring and helpful in the 
battle of life. 




Of Romanism there is little trace in our parish, and even Epis- 
copacy, which had been the established religion so late as the 
17th centur>% is almost forgotten. There are few notices of the 
earlier Ministers. William de Gawbruth appears to have been 
Rector at Kincardine in 1464, and David Watersun in 1468, as 
their names are found as witnesses at these dates. John Glass 
was reader and exhorter "in the Irische toung" in 1567. After 
that the succession is well preserved. 

I . — 1 5 80 — WiUia m Farquharson, 2. — 1 585 — Patrick Grants 
presented to the parsonage by James VI. ; translated to Advie 
after 1589, but returned 1624 ; appointed by the Synod to get a 
helper 1663. 3. — 1663 — Colifi Mackenzie^ A.M., translated to 
Contin. 4. — 1642 — Roderick Mackenzie, A.M., translated to Gair- 
loch. 5.— 1656— /(7A« Sandersofty A.M., was obliged to leave from 
ill-health. 6. — 1670 — Coiin Nicholson^ A.M., ordained helper 
1670; translated to Kirkmichael 1685; deprived by the Privy 
Council 7th November, 1689. 7. — i686--/a»M;j Grant, A.M., 
translated from Urquhart ; deprived by the Privy Council 7th 
November, 16S9 ; died 1693. 8. — 1709 — William Grant, ordained 
19th May, 1709 ; died 27th June, 1764, in his 96th year, and 56th 
of his ministry. 9.— /^Aw Grant, A.M., 1765-1820. 10, -^Donald 
Martin, A.M., 1820-1838. 11,— James Stewart, A.M., 1838-1862. 
Born at Dalvey, Cromdale ; educated at Aberdeen ; settled at 
Abernethy under the Veto Act. Notable for his scholarship and 
literary tastes. Was much esteemed in the parish, and a monu- 
ment erected to his memory. His eldest son, William Henry, 
retired as Surgeon from the Navy in 1895. 12. — William Forsyth, 


A.M., D.D., licensed at Forres 29th July, 1846. Minister at 
Ardersier 1846-1853 ; at Dornoch 1853-1863. Translated to 
Abernethy April, 1863. The only Minister of the Free Church 
is the Rev. Walter Ross, who was appointed in 1862, and has 
served since then with much faithfulness and efficiency. 

Mr W11.UAM Grant (1709- 1764) was settled in troublous 
times. Part of the Session Book of his ministry remains. It 
was remarkably well kept, and shows that the Minister and 
Elders were strict in preserving order, and stern in punishing 
oflfenders against Church law. Mr William preached regularly 
in Gaelic (then called Irish), and in English, and the texts of his 
sermons are always recorded. Sometimes, instead of the ordinary 
service in the church, the day was devoted to catechising, a 
custom still in use in England. Twice or thrice in the year 
Divine Service was held in outlying districts, such as Glenbroun 
and Glenmore. In 17 C5 wa find Mr William complaining to the 
Baron Bailie of " the heathenish custom of calling fidlers to like- 
wakes, and other barbarous uses," whereupon the Bailie ** statute 
and ordained that no fidler, housekeeper or any other person, 
within the said parish be employed in fidling or dancing, or any 
other barbarous and sinful customs or playes at the walking of 
dead people, under the faillzie of £10 Scots, ilk parson in all 
kine coming Mies quotieSy to be uplifted by the Session's Collector 
after convictione by and altour being liable to Church censure, 
and that ilk ane of them be liable in the failzie of £z money 
foresaid t.g. they shall disobey the Church censure, to be like- 
wayes uplifted by the said Collector, and appoints this act to be 
intimate from the pulpit of the Minister." The York Company 
were at Coulnakyle in Mr William's time, and, according to 
Burt, though he has not the courage to give the name, he (Mr 
William) was able to make some profit by cashing the orders of 
the Company, and charging is per £1 upon money changed by 
him. Shaw says that he had a mortgage on Congash, His 
portrait is at Castle Grant. Mr William appears to have had 
one son. Ludovick, minister of Archattan, and four daughters. 



Grizel married William Grant, Advie; Ann, m. Alexander 
Grant, Barrack-master, Fort-Auj?ustus ; Margaret, m. Lewis 
Grant, Lettoch ; and Christina, m, Evan Grant, Fcrt- Augustus. 

Mr John Grant, M.A., 1765. 1820.— Mr John, as he was 
called according to the custom of the times, was a native of 
Duthil, of the family of Milton. He was of a long-lived race, his 
father, Sweton Grant, dying at the age of 86, and his mother, 
Klspet, at the age of 72. His first charge was Arrochar, in 
Argyllshire. In 1765 he was presented by the Laird of Grant to 
Abemethy, and was admitted on the 26th September of that 
year. He died on the 21st January, 1820, so that his pastorate 
extended over the long period of 55 years. Mr John was a 
man of kindly heart, and of much shrewdness and practical 
ability. He was always zealous for what he considered the 
interests of his people, and he seems to have done much to 
establish law and order and to encourage education in the parish. 
The marble tablet which was set up in the Church to his 
memory shows the high estimation in which he was held by his 
parishioners. There are some anecdotes still current which 
illustrate the character of this worthy man. and throw light upon 
the times in which he lived. Mr John, like Zaccheus, was little 
of stature, though he had broad shoulders and a good figure. 
Once when examining a man who had been ballotted for the 
Militia, and whom he wished, for his mother's sake, to get oflF, 
he objected to his being passed, saying, ** Too short, too short." 
The man's pride was huit, and he answered sharply, *• Ye needna 
say that, Mr John, you're no one of the Philistines yersel'." 
During the severe seasons of 1783-84 many of the people were in 
great straits for food, and it was reported that there had been 
thefts of potatoes, and even sheep, in the parish. Mr John 
was much vexed. The next Sunday he referred to the report, 
and said it g^eved him to hear such things said of his people. 
The times no doubt were hard, and when want pressed and the 
children were crying for bread and there was none, he did not 
wonder if things were done which in better days would not be 


thought of. "Well, if any of you are starving," said the minister, 
" I have a good stock of potatoes at Croftcroy, and you are 
welcome to a share of them ; only I would rather give them than 
that you should iake them." And, added the good parson, " God 
forbid that I ever hear again of any of you stealing from some 
poor devil as ill off as yourselves." Mr John was at one time 
called to perform 1 baptism in TuUoch. When he asked the 
child's name the answer was Solomon. Now it so happened that 
the parson, no doubt for good reasons, had a dislike to the name, 
so he muttered " We have had too many Solomons." " Well, 
Mr John," said the father. " call him what you please." The 
parson at once said. '* I baptise thee John," and John he was to 
his dying day. It is curious to find a parallel to this incident in 
the Far West. Professor Bryce, in his book on the ''American 
Commonwealth," when shewing the force of party spirit, 
mentions that a certain clergyman at a baptism in New England 
asked the child's name. The father replied "Thomas Jefferson." 
•*No such un-Christian name," said the clergyman hotly. "I 
baptise thee John Adams." Human nature is much the same 
on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr John was for some 
time chaplain of the 97th Regiment, and he always took much 
interest in military matters. On one occasion he set out to visit 
Glenmore, and perhaps to do a little in the way of recruiting. 
He was dressed in the bravery of tartans. Passing Chapelton he 
found Allan Grant before his door cutting hticks. Allan gave a 
glance at the parson, and then went on with his work. Mr 
John was offended, and said, **You don^t seem to know me, 
Allan." Allan looked up, scanned the parson from head to foot, 
and then said quietly, ** It would be no wonder, Mr John, if ye did 
not know yourself in that dress." It is said the parson never put 
on the trews and plaid again. Many of Mr John*s parishioners 
were serving in the army during the French War, and as these 
were not the days of newspapers, and letters were rare, he used 
some times after sermon to give information to his people as to 
the progress of the war- Ope Sunday he had been telling, with 



much satisfaction, that Buonoparte was dead, and that there would 
soon be peace. The report turned out incorrect, so the next 
Sunday he was quite downcast **0 my friends," said the parson, 
** it was not true what I told you last Sunday. The scoundrel 
Buonoparte is alive yet, and doing as much mischief as ever." 
Mr John was fond of music, and did what he could to improve 
the church psalmody, which had been in a wretchedly low state. 
He had employed a teacher of repute from Arg>-llshire, of the 
name of Campbell, and his success was considerable. Mr 
John was anxious to start a class in Kincardine also, and he 
arranged that Mr Campbell and some of his best scholars should 
attend theie when he next preached, and, said the good parson, 
'* you'll get my own seat,** which was a large table seat in front of 
the pulpit. The church was crowded. After prayer, Mr John 
said, "We have a professor of church music with us, and a good 
class, so, instead of a sermon, we shall occupy ourselves in 
the praise of God" Now, there was sitting near the pulpit a 
certain John Stewart, farmer, commonly called "the Baddan," 
who had a strong, harsh voice, which he was fond of letting be 
heard, and Mr John, turning to him, said very pointedly, 
" And you, John, will please keep silent, and not give us any of 
your bo-heas.'* Mr John and the I^aird of Rothiemurchus were 
great friends. Once, when visiting at the Doune, he took a stroll 
by the Spey before breakfast. Near the Druie, he came upon a 
lot of men busy buckling their floats. They had left their coats 
and some of their tools a good way behind. The parson, talking 
to one of them, remarked that it was foolish in them to leave 
their things out of sight— they might be stolen. " No, no," said 
the floater, " we're all honest folk here, but," he added with a sly 

chuckle, ** if we were down the way of A.bemethy ." The 

parson did not wait to hear more, but hurried off, highly offended. 
Mr John did much for the improvement of the Cure. He got 
the Church restored, he obtained a new manse, and he was at 
considerable expense in laying out the garden and grounds, and 
in planting the waste places of the glebe. One of his sons was 


Studying divinity, and the old man hoped that he might be his 
successor. We may imagine him watching the improvements, 
and saying to himself as he planted tree after tree — ** If God 
please, my son will yet walk in the shade of these trees, and tell 
to his children who planted them." But this dear hope was 
blasted. One day the sad news came from Aberdeen that his son 
had died suddenly. Mr John never recovered from this heavy 
stroke. One of the last glimpses we get of him is very touching. 
Under his supervision a new school-house had been erected, of 
which he was very proud. In his last winter,, when very feeble 
and not able to go far about, he used to visit the school, not 
above a quarter of a mile off, and sit down by the fire, watching 
the classes with much eagerness. When a boy or girl did well, 
the parson had a word of praise, and when passing out he would 
pat the little ones on the head, and bid them good-bye with his 
blessing. Mr John married (1775) Christina, daughter of James 
Grant of Clurie, and had four sons and one daughter — Peter, 
Captain in the Hon. East Indian Company, died 18 10; James 
Augustus, Chief Secretary to the Government, Bombay, and 
Senior Judge of the Court of Circuit, Guzerat, long familiarly 
known at Nairn as ** Viewfield ;" George, Captain in Bombay 
Infantry, died 1819; Sweton, Student in Divinity, died 1810 ; and 
Helen, who married Alexander Grant of Dellachaple, died 1865, 
represented by Major John Grant, Dellachaple, Garmouth. 

D0NAI.D Martin, M.A. (1820- 1838). — Mr Martin was a native 
of Skye, of the old family of the Martins of the Beallach in 
Kilmuir. He was educated at Edinburgh, where during his 
four sessions he resided in the house of Lord Macdonald as the 
favoured son of his father, who was agent to Sir Alexander, the 
first Lord Macdonald. His first charge was Kilmuir, to which 
he was admitted 5th October, 1785, in succession to Mr Donald 
Macqueen, who figures so prominently in Johnson's Tour. Here, 
7th February, 1788, he married Ann, daughter of Norman 
Macdonald of Scalpay. Three of her brothers rose to high rank 
in the army, General Sir John Macdonald, K.C.B. ; General 


Archibald Macdonald» and General Sir Alexander Macdonald, 
R.A. A fourth brother, Matthew Hume, was the father of the 
present Lord Kingsburgh, Lord Justice Clerk, who has in many 
ways shown the soldierly instincts of his race. In 1808 Mr 
Martin was translated to the Chapel of Ease, Inverness, and in 
1820 he was presented to Abemethy, where he was inducted on 
the 15th August of that year. From his high reputation as a 
clergyman, his coming was hailed with much satisfaction. But 
there was one drawback. ** He is but a ladie" (laddie) said a 
contentious critic, objecting to a certain minister on the score of 
his youth. Mr Martin might have been objected to on the 
ground of his age, for he was 71, but no voice was raised in 
dissent. On the contrary, his settlement was in the truest sense 
harmonious. Perhaps there is no parallel case on record in the 
Church. But though Mr Martin had passed the threescore years 
and ten, his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated. He 
had come of a race remarkable not only for strength of body, for 
as he used to say he was the youngest and the weakest of seven 
brothers, but also for strength of character. He had much of the 
soldier spirit, and seemed bom to command. His unfeigned 
piety won the respect, and his earnest discharge of duty and his 
ttnswer\*ing rectitude soon gained him the confidence and the 
attachment of his people. He was an able Gospel preacher, and 
in Gaelic an orator of the highest order. The Churches that had 
been for some time scantily attended were crowded. A solemn 
awe pervaded the congregation, and many who had lived care- 
lessly, or who had contented themselves with a cold morality, 
were turned to God and to a godly life. Mr Martin was also 
most zealous in pastoral work. He distributed Bibles (in con- 
nection with the Strathspey Bible Society formed in his time), 
he held diets of catechising, and he established Sabbath Schools, 
in which he took much delight. He also called out men of 
earnest piety to be elders, who greatly helped him in his 
evangelistic work. As the result, the religious tone of society 
was raised, and the spiritual condition of the people greatly 


yhk succession in i*he church. 103 

improved. It is said that Mr Martin had been rather hard and 
worldly in his early days. The death of his wife (1803) was a 
turning point in his career. Mrs Martin was held in much 
esteem, not only on account of her birth and accomplishments, 
but for her unfeigned piety, as is recorded on her tombstone^ 
** raised by the love and friendship of a sorrowful husband" she 
had ** through a short life of thirty-two years served with 
unwearied assiduity the interests of Christ and of the poor." 
When Mr Martin saw that his wife was dying, he was much 
distressed. Holding her hand, he said with a faltering voice, 
** Annie, dear, are you not sorry leaving me?" With a heart 
tender but true she answered, " That is not what troubles me, 
but that I am leaving children without a father and a minister 
without grace." This terrible word went like an arrow from the 
bow of the Great King straight to the mark. From that time it 
was noted that Mr Martin was a changed man, and that his 
preaching had taken a higher character. It was like the crisis in 
Dr Chalmers' life. Sometimes to his intimate friends Mr Martin 
would confess how the world had been too much with him, and 
that he owed his better spint, under God, to his saintly wife. 
In 1826, when there was almost a total failure of the crop, 
Mr Martin preached a powerful sermon, exhorting the people to 
consider their ways, and warning them that the bad harvest was 
a judgment of God. and that if they did not repent worse things 
might come upon them. Next day he happened to meet Captain 
Macdonald, Coulnakyle, an old sailor of rather a jovial temper. 
Captain Macdonald jocularly said — "Parson, that was a terrible 
sermon you preached yesterday, but your doctrine might be 
applied to yourself. See, your crop (pointing to Croft Croy) is 
the worst in the parish, and if your argument be good, you your- 
self must be the greatest sinner 1" The parson, in whom the 
** Old Adam" was not dead, was at first disposed to resent this 
attack, but restrained himself and answered mildly — '* Whether 
the crop be the worst or not is no matter, / am the greatest 
sinner, but / have obtained mercy*' Mr Martin used to make 


Saturday a rest day, a wise custom which other ministers might 
imitate. Generally he spent part of the time at Grantown, 
\4siting friends and doing business. Once when driving to the 
village he was accosted by an Irish woman, who asked charit>'. 
He gave her sixpence. The sight of the silver, when she only 
expected copper, touched her heart, and she cried with much 
fervour, ** God bless your Rivirence, and may you be in 
Abraham's bosom this verra nicht.'* "Thank you, my good 
woman," said the parson, ** but you need not have been so par- 
ticular as to the time." This saying is somewhat like that of 
another Irish woman to a minister who had given her a 
pair of shoes, ** God bliss your Rivirence, your sheen I'll 
be in Heaven afore ye." Once a parishioner called upon 
Mr Martin about the baptism of a child. He was a man 
notoriously ignorant and careless, and the minister took 
advantage of the opportuniiy to speak to him seriously. He 
put several questions, with very unsatisfactor>' results, At last, 
in the hope of quickening his conscience, he said, "Man, do you 
know what people you belong to ? " The man had now his 
chance. The answer came quick and clear. ** Yes, Mr Martin, 
I belong to the goo 1 old stock of Tullochgorm." What followed 
is not known, but Mr Martin seldom failed to turn such oppor- 
tunities to account. There was a striking instance of this in the 
case of one of his elders. William Forsyth, Culreach, was a 
quiet, honest li\ing man, but he had shewn no personal interest 
in religion. Indeed, he was more notable for strength than for 
piety. One hot summer day, when the Church was very full, Mrs 
Grant, Birchfield, who sat in the front seat of the west galler}*, 
suddenly fainted. She was a big heavy woman, said to be over 
20 stones, and there was difficulty in lifting her out. But William 
stepped forward, caught her up in his arms, and carried her out, 
as if she were a baby. Other extraordinary feats of strength by 
him are still spoken of. One week William lost his reckoning. 
He thought it was Saturday, and set out to the moss to bring 
home some peats. When busy he heard what seemed the 


Church bell, but he set it down to fancy and went on with his 
work. When passing the manse on his way home he met the 
herd boy, the late John Grant of Glenlochy, who said sharply, 
"The Sabbath is no a day for carting peats." "You little 
rascal," he answered, "what are you saying?" But he had his 
doubts. Shortly after he met some people going to Church, and 
he knew that it was the Sabbath. The shock to his simple mind 
was severe. He at once unyoked his horse, left cart and peats 
by the roadside, and returned home with a sad heart. Next day 
he was early at the Manse and told his tale to the minister. Mr 
Martin spoke to him as only a true minister could do, and was 
the means, by God's blessing, of winning his soul to Christ. 
Some time after he made him one of his elders, and he continued 
to his death to bear the character of a humble and sincere 
Christian. Mr Martin had three sons — Donald, who became a 
Captain of Artillery, and died at Naples ; Norman, who died at 
Demerara ; and Sir James Ranald, whose distinguished career in 
India and London as a physician and sanitary reformer is well 
known. Two of Mr Martin's grandsons rose to high distinction — 
Major-General Andrew Aldcorn Munro, who was brought up at 
the Manse of Abernethy, and Field-Marshal Sir Donald Stewart, 
Bart., K.C.B., whose father, Robert Stewart, was of the old 
family of Clachglas in Kincardine. 




Scotland's indebtedness to the Church for education has been 
often acknowledged. Before the sixteenth century much had 
been done by the establishment of Universities and otherwise, 
but the people had not been reached. The light only gilded the 
high places, the glens and the valleys were still in shadow. 
When the Reformation took place, the fervour as to religion, 
was also shown as to education. Indeed, the two things were 
held as vitally connected, as may be seen in the Catechism 
in common use, which bore on its face the significant title, 
** The A. B.C. and the Shorter Catechism." John Knox's devout 
imaginatioiv as to the application of the Teinds was unfortu- 
nately not carried out, but notwithstanding much was done for 
the education of the people. The First Book of Discipline (1560) 
drawn up by Knox maintains the duty of the State to be " most 
careful for the virtuous education and godly upbringing of the 
youth of the realm," and direction is given as to how this was to 
be done, " also that provision be made for those that be poor, 
and not able by themselves nor by their friends to be sustained 
at letters, and in special these that come from landward^ It is 
significantly added that no father of ** whatsoever state or con- 
dition," was to be allowed to bring up his children ** according 
to his own fantasie," but all ''must be ccmpeiied to bring up their 
childten in leartiiftg and virtue'' Seven years after, the Scottish 
Parliament ordained that all schools to Burgh and Land, ** and 
all Universities and Colleges be reformed, and that all teachers 
both public and private be tried by the Superintendents or 
Visitoures of the Kirk." This shows that considerable progress 
had been made. In 16 16 the Privy Council ordered the estab- 


lishtnent of a school in every parish. This Act was confirmed in 
1633, with the very important condition that power was given to 
the Bishops, with assent of the majority of the parishioners (if 
the Heritors, i.e., landed proprietors, refused to act) themselves 
to plant the school, and impose a land tax for its support, right 
of appeal to the Privy Council being given to the Heritors. The 
General Assembly was strenuous in its endeavours to have the 
Acts of Parliament carried out. In 1616. the subject was dealt 
with at a meeting held in St Nicholas Church, Aberdeen, and 
from 1638 onwards there is cons^tant reference in the Acts of 
Assembly to "the settling of schools," Thus, in 1642, it is 
enacted ** that every parish have a reader, and a school where 
children are to be bred in reading, writing, and grounds of 
religion according to the laudable Acts of both Kirk and Parlia- 
ment made before." Further, in the same Act, "it is recom- 
mended to His Majesty and Parliament to put in execution the 
means formerly appointed for schools of all sorts, and to find out 
further means for so good a case, especially that children of poor 
men (being very capable of learning and of good genius) may be 
trained up according as exigence and necessity of every place 
shall require." Then in 1704, there is an Act which not only 
shows the strong desire that existed to bring education within 
the reach of all children, but also the growing conviction that 
some compulsion would be required for this purpose — so far 
anticipating the ideas of our own day : *' And application is 
appointed to be made to the Parliament and Privy Council, and 
those in the Government for obtaining their authority to get said 
schools erected, and obliging parents to put their children theretoJ'* 
In how far education was free in those times is doubtful, but it 
is evident that it was desired, on the part of the State and of the 
Church, to remove all obstacles and to place the schools within 
the reach of the poorest of the people. In an Act passed by the 
General Assembly in 1705, it is required that "the poor be taught 
upon charity, and that none be suffered to neglect the teaching 
of their children to read." Three periods may be noticed in the 
progress of education in our parish. 


I. The School in Eariy Times.— In 1658 there was a 
petition to Parliament from the Presb>'ter>' of Strathspej% and 
heritors and wadsetters of the parishes of Abemethy and 
Kincardine, "being unite,' and of the parishes of Glencharin 
and Rothiemurchus, "being also unite," for leave to appropriate 
vacant stipends for the erection and maintenance of schools. In 
this petition it is stated that these parishes had been vacant, 
without ministers, the one for five, and the other for three years, 
" ilk aiie thereof fywe hundrethe merkes yearlye, and so the 
people of the respective parochines frustrat of the benefit of the 
word and Sacraments ; '* and it is urged that the " parochiners of" 
the said parochines being bot poor, and the rent thereof within 
the samen of little value, and lying farr in the Highlands from 
anie burgh or in cuntrey for the education of their children, they 
not being able to plant or prowyd for aine schoolmaster," the 
vacant unpaid stipends could not be ** more piouslye nor better 
disposed upon nor for planting and prowyding of some main- 
tenance for ane school in ilk ane of the said parochines." The 
petition was signed by James Grant of Freuchie, and among 
others by James Grant of Achemack ; Mungo Grant of Con- 
ningeis (Congasli) ; James Grant of TuUich ; and J. Grant of 
Gartenmore. It was also signed by John Sanderson, the minister 
at Abernethy, and Moderator of the Presbytery of Strathspey. 
What the result was is not known. The tradition is that the 
school was originally erected in the church-yard, that it was 
moved to Croft Croy, and ultimately fixed in its present site. 
The building would be of a ver>' humble kind. Even a centur>' 
later there was little advance. This appears from a deliverance 
of the Presbytery of Abemethy, in 1748, with reference to the 
parish of Kirkmichael. The minister represented that the school 
had been for long in " a moveable and ambulatory way, and had 
been set up in no less than ten different towns in the parish. 
. . . The custom had been for those that had children to be 
taught to contend for having the school at their own door, and 
they commonly gave an old house to master and scholai^s until 


they got their turn served, and then they begrudged this pitiful 
accommodation, and it was withdrawn." He stated further that 
for some years past he had allowed a room in the manse for a 
school, as no other place could be obtained. After hearing 
parties, it was found that different opinions existed as to where 
the school should be placed, but " a good number insisted that it 
should be erected in the kirk-yard, as was usual in most other 
country parishes." Leaving the question of site to be settled 
afterwards, the Presbytery took the opinion of sworn traaesmen 
as to the probable expense of the plan submitted to them, which 
was as follows : — ** That the house be thirty- six feet between walls 
in length, and twelve in breadth, with a partition for the school- 
master's room, and three windows, one whereof to be glazed, 
and the other two to have timber brods; two doors and two 
locks ; two lums of timber ; two writing tables, and four forms 
for the scholars to sit on." It was also ordered that if the school 
was built in the church-yard ** the whole walls and gavels were 
to be of stone and mortar." In the Abemethy Session Book 
there are references to fines being applied to payment of teacher 
and to the repair of the school. In 1739, at a meeting held at 
Garroline, Malcolm Grant was entered schoolmaster and session 
clerk, at twenty merks yearly, Scots, "being his due to be paid 
out of the penalties imposed upon delinquents." In 1750, James 
Stuart in Riemore is appointed to cut and lead all the timber 
necessary for the school-house, and to bind and set up the couples 
at his own charges for his fall in fornication. This school was 
in Kincardine, where William Clark appears to have been school- 
master at the time. 

II. The School under the Act of 1803. — By this Act 
the Heritors and Minister had the power of settling the School- 
master's stipend, which might be revised once in 25 years ; the 
minimum was the value of li chalders, or ;^i6 13s 5d, and the 
maximum 2 chalders, or ;^22 4s 5d. They also fixed the School 
fees ; but " poor children " recommended by them were to be 
taught free. The Presbytery of the Bounds had also considerable 



powers as to examination of the Teacher, and superintendence. 
The first Teacher appointed under this Act was William Mac- 
donald (1804- 1845). Mr Macdonald was a native of the parish, 
and was educated at the Academies of Elgin and Inverness. He 
was an able and efficient teacher. From a reply to Queries by a 
Committee of the House of Commons, 1838, the following facts 
have been gleaned. The accommodation was— One room and a 
kitchen, with bed-closet, all in the flat over the schoolroom. 


The salary was £25 13s 3d. The average attendance, 1836-37, 
was— Males, 61 ; females, 30 ; the ages being from 5 to 20, but 
some older. The fees were— English, 2S ; with Writing, 2S 6d ; 
with Arithmetic, 3s ; English Grammar and Geography, is ; 
Mathematics, 5s to los ; I^atin, 5s, all per quarter. Book-keeping 
from 5s to los per sett. The hours were from 10 to 5 in summer, 
and from 10 to 3 in winter, with an hour's play. The scholars 
were taught in classes, with the exception of beginners, who 


were taught separately. No monitors were employed ; but 
assistance was sometimes obtained from advanced scholars. The 
examination by the Presbytety was in March, when prizes were 
given to the most deserving. Luther's master, Trebonius, used 
to take off his hat when he entered his school- room. ** I uncover 
my head," he said, " to honour the Consuls, Chancellors, Doctors, 
Masters, who shall proceed from this school." Mr Macdonald 
might have acted in the same way. In the prize list for 1829, 
when 87 were present out. of 103 upon the roll, the following 
names occur, and their after course, so far as known, is indi- 
cated:— James Allan, Man.«e, afterwards merchant in South 
America ; Duncan Grant, Broomhill, brewer in England ; James 
Grant, Rhymore, Minister of the Free Church; John Fraser, 
Nethy Bridge, solicitor ; F. W. Grant, Rothiemoon, staff surgeon ; 
James Macdonald, Coulnakyle, retired as Major-General from 
the Indian service ; his son is the present Sir Claude Macdonald, 
Her Majesty's representative in China ; James Fors>*th, Dell, for 
thirtj- years Manager of the Wolverhampton & Staffordshire 
Bank ; and among those who were ranked as A.B C/s, Donald 
Macdonald, Coulnakyle, Surgeon- Major, India ; Andrew A, 
Munro, Manse, retired Major-General, India ; William For.s>nh, 
present parish minister. It is interesting to note how many of 
the prizemen went forth to seek their fortunes in the world, 
and almost all with good success. 

HI. The School as it is Now.— In 1838, 1843, ^"^ f86i Act% 
were passed which led to considerable improvements as V^ 
schools and education. In our parish the mzsXtfs foXzty was 
increased, and in 1871 a new school-room was l/nik mfnt in 
accordance with modem requirementsu Then in 1^2 ',arr;'' 
Lord Young's Act, and this Act, with some zm^m4m^':nt\ h %}»". 
law under which education has been since 2Am'uA^U:r^A. Wh,>' 
the old Parochial School system had much that wa% ^zff^U-tt*, >♦ 
cannot be denied that in some respects it was d^.^ uttX tn fnt, as in many others, there wzs n^A s'jff.r^^rnt yr^r,'W,f/n i//f 
the scattered populacion, though something} ytf'A^ ^y/ti^ '// ^> u* i^{ 


Assembly and adventure schools,^ and this evil had to be remedied 
by the establishment of additional schools at Tulloch, Dorback, 
and Glenbrown. The Public School at Abemethy, which took 
the place of the Parish School, was also improved by the addition 
of a class-room, and the appointment of a female teacher, while 
an excellent house was provided for the master. In these 
and in other respects many improvements have been eflFected. 
There have been losses as well as gains under the new 
system, but the gains predominate. Comparing the present 
with the past, the following things may be noted. There is 
better provision of education as there are more schools and 
under stricter registration, and by enforcement of the compulsory 
clauses of the Act, a larger and more regfular attendance has 
been secured. Then, it may be said, there is fairer treatment of 
the scholars, as not only the clever, but the dull have their 
chance. Justice so far as possible is done to all. Further, from 
the better accommodation, the more systematic teaching, and 
the more liberal equipment and appliances, work is carried on 
under more favourable circumstances, and more effectively. 
And as another ver>' important matter. Education is now free^ 
Mention has been already made of the fees charged in 1838, 
and from this it will be seen what a heavy burden fell upon 
parents, especially where there were large families. This burden 
has been removed. So far as the law is carried out, there is now 
a place for every child, and ever>' child in its place. Words- 
worth's ** glorious time" may be said to have come, excepting, 
perhaps, as regards religion, when ** this imperial realm " has 

•* Herself by statute to secure 
For all the children whom her soil maintains. 
The rudiments of letters, and to inform 
The mind with moral and religious truth — 
Both understood and practised — so that none, 
However destitute, be left to droop 
By timely culture unsustained, or run 
Into a wild disorder ; or be forced 

^ See Appendix, Note 7. * See Appendix, Note 8. 


To drudge through weary life without the aid 
Of intellectual implements and tools, 
A savage horde among the civilised— 
A servile band among the lordly free." 

The following is a list of the Schoolmasters who have taught 
at Abemethy. so far as known :— Lachlan Shaw, 171 1, afterwards 
Minister at Kingussie, Cawdor, and Elgin, the historian of 
Moray; Patrick Grant, 1730; Malcolm Grant, 1749; Francis 
Lauder, 1752; George Dempster, 1754; Duncan Cameron, 1760; 
John Vass, 1780; William Pirie, transferred to Grantown, 1803, 
taking with him the Cock-fight Crown, which was never returned ; 
William Macdonald, 1804-45; James Grant, 1845-70; Donald, 
Grant, M.A., 1870-76, now Minister of Dornoch, Sutherlandshire ; 
George Sorrie, M.A., 1876-80, now Master of the Grammar 
School, Stonehaven; Andrew Steele, M.A., 1880, the present 
Teacher, assisted by Margaret Taylor, certificated Mistress. 
For four years, 1892-96. the school was recognised as a Centrical 
School for Secondary Education, and a grant of ;^40 was made 
to it annually by the Inverness-shire Secondary Education 
Committee. During this time an additional Master was 
employed, and under pressure from the Department and H.M. 
Inspector, the School Board were put to large expense in 
enlarging the accommodation, but the g^ant, having been with- 
drawn, the staff had to be reduced. The highest grants earned 
were, in 1896, ;f 191 13s 6d. Last year, 1897, with a lower attend- 
ance, owing to a decrease in the number of children within the 
school limit, the grants obtained were ;f 139 us 6d. 




The Session Records of our parish are ver>' imperfect. It is 
said that some of them were destroyed by an accidental fire, and 
others seem to have been lost during the vacancies which occurred 
from the deaths of ministers. There are no records referring to 
tlie period when Episcopacy was the form of Church Govern- 
ment, and the Session minutes during the pastorates of Mr John 
Cxrant and Mr Martin have not been preserved. But two quarto 
volumes exist of minutes kept when Mr William Grant was 
minister, the one running from 1731 to 1749, and the other from 
1749 to 1 761, and they are extremely interesting and valuable 
as throwing light upon the social and religious condition of the 
parish, and the life and work of the Church in times of much 
disorder and difficulty. 

Ecclesiastical Buildings.- -There is no mention of the 
Manse, but the state of the Church is frequently referred to. A 
meeting was held on 14th August, 1743, when, besides the Minister 
and Elders, there were present **the following Gentlemen, viz., 
John Grant of Baltimore, Lud. Grant of Lettoch, Duncan Grant 
of Achernick. Lewis Grant of Badenidin and John Grant Yr. of 
Gartenmore.*' h fter consulting as to the repair of the Church, 
and how to ** make it water-tight again winter," the following 
curious resolution was unanimously adopted: — That "^ each 
Gentleman and Tennant repair the breaehes or holes above his own 
seat, seeing it is now too late in the year to have the Church 
fully repaired." It was further ordained that the work should 
be done before the second Tuesday of September, and authority 
was given to the minister to employ tradesmen to make the 
repairs, where not executed at that date, at ** the expenses of 


such as might be deficient." On July 21, 1748, a special meeting 
was held, of the Session and Gentlemen, for the Division of the 
Kirk of Abemethy. It is stated that complaints had been made 
by ** severalls," "Gentlemen and Tacksmen,*' that "they had no 
Room or place in the Church allotted to them to build pews or 
seats, in order to attend ordinances," and the meeting took steps 
to apportion space to each, according to their rent. Alex. Fraser, 
mason, at Culnakyle, was employed to make out a plan, and from 
his report it was found that " the share falling to every hundred 
pounds Scots of Rent was two foot five inches and three- eights." 
The Division was made and recorded with much care. The part 
referring to Lurg may be taken as a sample. " The said Division 
began at the East Gavel of the Church on the North side where 
I^urgg's seat lyes. The Rent of Lurg Clachack and Ellon 
being four hundred and sixty four pounds Scots money. The 
Session and said Factor appointed nine foot three inches square 
measuring from the Gavel of the Church for the purposes of the 
above lands." Next came "the Upper and Lrower Congeshes, 
rent £375 ^^s, cess included, and Aldcham," rent £iog 8s ; then 
the two achterparts of Balliemore ; two achterparts of Balna- 
glack ; Croft of Balliemore ; the achterpart of Buchcham ; and 
the achterpart of Badeniden ; rent in all, £430 8s ; and so on 
with Culnakyle, Rothiemoon, Gartenmore, and the rest. Nine 
foot square was left for the pulpit and the minister's seat The 
conclusion is: — "The above Division being made by the said 
Session and Factor, having the Laird of Grant's order for that 
purpose, they therefore appoint the same to stand firm ; and 
orders all the Gentlemen and Tacksmen of the said parish to 
possess their respective proportions as above determined, and to 
build seats for their own convenience, otherwise such as will 
not build seats and frequent the ordinances, their seats and 
Room in the said Church will be given to others to build 
seats thereon : And Further the said Session appoints all 
the parishioners to provide and carry to the Church- Yard 
Heather, and other material necessary for compleating the 


Reparation of the Kirk, and this by appointment of Session is 
intimated to all the parishioners 'after Divine Worship this thirty 
and first day of July one thousand seven hundred and forty eight 
years." These appointments do not appear to have had much 
effect, for at a meeting held at Rothymoon, July 9th, 1756, there 
is the following entr>' : — **The Session and above Gentlemen 
appoints with respect to the Kirk the possessors of ever>' Davoch 
of Land within the parish of Abernethy to thatch their own 
respective shares of the said Kirk within the space of Twenty- 
four Days hence, otherways such as will not thatch their own 
shares " would have the work done at their expense. 

The Kirk Session. — Elders were appointed from time to 
time as required. At a meeting held at Lethnach>le, December 
r. 1745, ** John Stuart son to the deceast John Stuart sometime 
in Lenachyle was chosen Elder in room of his said father, and 
also appointed Treasurer." Then on December 7, 1746, "the 
names and designations of the following persons were read from 
the pulpit before the Congregation : viz, James Grant in Revack, 
John Stuart in Lenchyle, James Grant in Tulloch, John Mackin- 
tosh in Achgourisk, and John Grant in Criftnahawn," es chosen 
for the Eldership; and objections being called for, and none 
offered, *'they were elected in the usual manner before the 
Congregation," and took their seats with the other Elders. 
October 5, 1740, there is notice of the appointment of Donald 
Cameron, in Gartenmore, as Ruling Elder to the Synod of 
Murray, which was to meet at Elgin on the 21st October. He 
was ordained to repair to and attend the Synod, and **to do 
everything as beseemeth his character, as he shall be answerable 
to us." Then on November 9th it is stated that as the said 
** Donald Cameron was obliged to attend the Synod, upon a 
certain affair that concerned their bounds, which did put him 
to some charges besides the loss of business at home, therefore 
they appoint their Treasurer to g^ve him Eighteen pence Scots 
out of the Box, which is to be paid ^*n again out of the first and 
readyest penalties imposed upon delinquents." The Elders were, 


on the whole, veiy regular in attendance ; but not infrequently, 
during winter and spring, there is the touching entry, "There 
was no Session this day by reason of the Cold." 

Church Services. — The usual services were two — Gaelic 
(called Irish) and English, and the texts are always given. In 
summer there were sometimes double services ; thus, Abemethy, 
May -7, 1739, it is minuted that there was a lecture in Irish 
in the forenoon from Acts i. 1-5, then English, Matt. xvi. 26; 
and in the afternoon, Irish lecture on Acts i. 5-8, and English, 
Titus ii. II. The same order was followed the next Sunday 
at Kincardine. Occasionally services were held in outlying dis- 
tricts, such as Gleumore and Glenbroun. Lenchyle, January 14, 
1750, it is stated that the minister thought proper to preach here 
this day, upon account of some old persons who could not come 
to the parish kirk. The amount of the collection is always 
entered. At Abernethy it ranged from 6s to 15s Scots each 
Sunday. The following significant note is made April 8th, 
^739- — "There was no sermon in the Church this day because 
the Congregation did not convene by reason of the Great Storm." 
Vacancies are recorded at times on the ground that the minister 
was absent assisting at Communions in other parishes. The 
Lord's Supper was observed once a year ; but there are years in 
which no notice of its observance is entered. Intimation was 
made beforehand of the day, and the Elders were carefully 
designed for their several duties. Thursday, 21st August, 1760, 
tokens were distributed, and the Elders were appointed to take 
the collections, "John Stuart in Lenchyle at the Church Door; 
John Grant in Garteumore at the Isle Door ; John Surges at the 
Easter Loft Door ; Donald Cumming at the Door of Bellymore*s 
Desk, and John Stuart at the Garten Lolt Door." On the 
Thursday, Mr Patrick Grant, Minister of Cromdale, preached 
in Irish from Isaiah liii. 3 (ist clause), and in English from 
James iv. 8 (ist clause). Collection, £1 i6s. On the Saturday, 
called the "Preparation Day," the same minister preached in 
English from Isaiah liii. 11. and Mr George Grant, Kirkmichael, 

:= Ir.-h, fr--=: F-il^i ui-n 5 -I-i tl- 5a'':i:'- the "Action 
5cm :-= -w-tji r t^re Crrr:*::. Ti.- :- Vr 'A'l. 1^ Gran*, Minister. 
fr:— £r< Et.-tr :c J:ls xii cliTtf i^i :^th vtrse. The 
Art::- >=:-=::- := Ir.rr. ti.: vit Crzr:'- —- the Tent' by- 
Mr Gfir-t Gr*=.:, M.-k=^ h K.-i-=L /-izl J \- tri chip, and 
:^:h vcrf<:. 5n:r=: - 1- Ir_^h -«-:': 1* Chzr^r i*>-^t 12 o'clock 
Iv Mr L-i ' :t Gri-t. M:- <cr ::* I^i-iL Frolm ^uth, verse 
iTth-** M-ii;. ui- the Tr ir^w- --.^-«: I-iy whrs the Minister 
of Irithil rrtiZ-vi E-^::-h. Mi:t- xxv ^:, mi Mr George 
Gri::t pr^iV-.i l-^'z. Rcvdit: z li. ::. il- the Monday the 
E". irrs —lie thr r r^ror:— t tJil >.— -in re T-:ir:jdiy. -"2 5> o}d 

The Ccm—--: n ::" :-vi mi> c-c ::' in extraordinary- kind. 
It v.i- c'-^ f.1 2yS± A~c::-t- There >erni> to bi\"e b^rvn a 
lircr i--e-r"!ict: :" r*L rlr. F<^ ir^ the action -^rm^n^ in 
Enzli-h ani Givlu, tJicrt Ti^rt tTtj^ 5<:7'.-.cxr- * \fith>nt Charch^ 
in Iri-h. ar. i i: :< n ixri : — " There wi< n ■> >^m:on in the Evening 
of thi^ dv as the Mni-tcr^ hii no time after serving of the 
Ta'ile?, .*:.•; J :i :•: n\r;.vr. fearing the Comniunicants and others 
wcnid lit ' :c Jt their re^r^>rti\-e a:^de^*' The collection on this 
occasion w - 2^ ^ "^t. cf which *"i '^s to wa> gi\-tn to strangers. 
There ar^ r. uc- o: national :k<, a< for G^^rge III., and of 
thank-^i-.-ing^ or icrei by ±e S>-n>i : al>o of >pecial collections 
for Aberdeen Innrriiary. and for the concTe^ration of New York 
in their di^tre-'-c i circnni>tance>. 

It i> cnrlou'^ that there is no reference to the Rebellion of 
1745, save in M)n:e cx-^e^ of d:>cip!:ne, it ha\-ing been a common 
practice for w«n:cn to father th^ir i'le^iitimate children on 
soldiers who were out of the country- ; ani in one case the 
father given was said to have been '* slain at the Battle of 
Culloden." The sermons at Abemethy on the 27th April, the 
fin^t Sunday after the battle, were in Iri>h, from Judges vii. 7, 
to the end of the chapter. There was no English service. The 
next Sabbath, at Kincaim, the text wa«* Irish, Proverbs xvi. 15. 
It is perhaps significant that there was no session on either day, 
by reahon of the al>sence of the Clerk and the Elders, it was 


common to have ** cr>ing " of lost cattle and sheep in the church- 
yard after service. Kincairn, 17th November, 1745:— "There 
was this day proclaimed by the Ground Officer of this place, a 
two year old she-foal, black colour, which remains in the custody 
of James Stuart in Glenmore, Fiscall, and is without any visible 
mark." Kincairn, August 7, 1748 : — ** Proclaimed in the Church 
yard by John Baillie, Ground Officer, a four year old black 
Wedder, tarr'd above the tail, being in the custody of James 
Grant in Rishalloch." This custom of proclaiming continued 
down to a late period. Funerals sometimes took place on 
Sundays. Kinchardine, 22nd July, 1759: — ** William Macdonald 
in Glenmore was this day Rebuked and Exhorted sessionally for 
breach of Sabbath, viz. for his giving more Liquor than what is 
ordinary given to the people that attended and accompanied his 
Wife's funeral upon Sunday to this Kirkyard." 

Management of the Poor. — Collections weie taken every 
Sabbath for the poor, and the amount for each day was entered 
in the minutes. The accounts for Abernethy and Kincardine 
were kept separately, with a treasurer or thesaurus for each ; in 
1750, James Grant in Revack for Abernethy, and John Stuart 
in Tulloch for Kincardine. The treasurer had also charge of the 
fines imposed on delinquents, which constituted a considerable 
part of the revenue of the Session. Ordinary meetings of Session 
were held in church, after service, but the meetings for the 
division of the funds were special, and were held on a week-day, 
according to intimation, sometimes at Garlin, and sometimes at 
Rothiemoon and Belnagown. The following is an example: — 
** At Bellnagown, Aprile 8, 1 742. After prpyer met in Session with 
the minister, I^udovick Grant of Tulloch, James Grant in Revaick, 
Gregor Grant of Toberay, James Stuart in Lenchyle, and Donald 
Grant in Belnatomb, elders ; and the following gentlemen, viz.: — 
Lewis Grant in Badenidden, Ludovick Grant of Lettoch, John 
Grant, yr. of Lurgg, Alexander Grant in Corrachuillie, and James 
Mitchell in Rothiemune. This meeting being appointed by the 
Session to consider the case of the poor within the united parishes 


of Abernethy and Kinchardine. The Session finding that there 
was collected for the poor since the last distribution twelve 
pounds Scots, finding also that five pounds six shillings and 
eight pennies were given out at severall times to indigent persons 
within the said parishes, and others recommended by the Synod 
and Presbyterie, so that there remains now to be distributed six 
pounds thirteen shillings and four pennies. The Session finding 
that they have recovered from Robert Glass in Achnagonallen 
the fourty merks Scots, being the principal sum lent him severall 
years ago, with ten merks Scots of Ca rents . . . and 
considering the number and necessitous condition of the poor 
within the said parishes at present, do think it necessar>' to 
distribute the above fifty merks amongst them rather than give it 
out for interest." Classified lists of the poor are then given. 

First, a Wst of such of the poor as are either confined to yr, Beds 
by sickness or Cripples or Blind, or have childreti not exceeding two 
or three years of age to maintain : — i, Isobell Grant in Bellnagoun, 
confined to bed, 15s; 2, Jean Leslie, a Cripple, 15s; 3, Marjor>* 
Michallach, confined to her bed, 15s; 4, Janet M'Intosh in 
Clachaig. \vt. fatherless children, 15s ; 5, Isobell Stuart, a blind 
in Lench>lj, 12s; 6, Janet Grant, a Cripple, Milntown, 12s; 7, 
Barbara Grant in Rinaforack, confined to bed, 15s; 8, Anna 
Stuart in Belnagown, confd. to bed, 15s; 9, Janet Gregorach 
there, do., 12s; 10, Margaret Grant in Belnaglack, a blind, 15s; 
II, Katharine Cumming in Gartenmore, a blind, i8s; 12, Isobel 
Beannach in Belnagown, a blind, 12s; 13, James Ratrie in 
Tulloch, wt. motherless children, i8s ; 14, Donald Shaw in Kin- 
cairn, and Anna Grant, his spouse, both confined to their beds a 
long time ago, £1 los ; 15, Elizh. Brachader in Congesh, confind. 
to bed, i2s; 16, Robert Glass in Achnagonallen, w. motherless 
children, £7^\ 17, John Grant in Belnaglack, a poor, sickly man, 
i2s; 18, Mary Gregorach, his spouse, confd. to bed, 12s; 19, 
Elspet Grant, his daughter, a Cripple, 12s; 20, Duncan 
Gregarach in Clachack, w. moy. less Children, £1 os 4d ; 
21, Elspet Grant in Drume, w. two young children, 15s; 22, 


Christan Grant in Muckroch, spouse to Lach. Bain, t8s; 23. 
Alexander Mitchell in Tulloch, i8s ; 24, Mary Cumine, yr., with 
her five fatherless children, 15s; 25, John Fraser in Belnagown, 
and his spouse, with their children, 12s; 26, Wm. Gregorach in 
Tulloch, w. motherless children, 15s ; 27, Janet Grant in Cluchaig, 
a Cripple, 15s. 

2. The next list is of ** such of the poor as can travail to seek 
their bread-'' — i, Janet Stuart in Belnagluck ; 2, Janet Clerach in 
Milntown ; 3, Isobell Ross in Rothiemune ; 4, Janet Camron in 
Miln Croft; 5, Isobel Porter; 6, Marjory Mcintosh, widow in 
Rothiraune ; 7, Elspet M*Intosh in Clachack ; 8, Helen Grant in 
Milntoun ; 9, Margaret Grant, her sister ; 9, Janet Fraser in 
Gartenmore ; 10. Janet M'Pherson alias M*Huistan in Kincaim ; 
II. Mary Clark in Clachglass ; 13, Cath. Grant, Daughr. to Peter 
More, in Corrachullie ; 14, Madge Gregorach in CuUavaillen ; 
15, James Mitchell in Tulloch, his Relick; 16, Angus Turner in 
Clachglass; 17, Angus Cameron in Rimore ; 18, John Ross in 
Tulloch and his spouse ; 19, Janet Grant in Easter Tulloch ; 20, 
Elspt. Grt. in Garten, spouse to John Wsach ; 21, M'Ercher, a 
Dumb boy, in Gartenmore; 22, Wm. Barron in Bell nago wan ; 
23t John M*Intosh, weaver in Corrachullie; 24, Donald Dow 
Camron in Garlyne; 25, Duncan M*Irvine*s Relict; 26, Janet 
Grant in Culouillen ; 27, Margt. M*Intosh in Clachack ; 28, Wm. 
Stuart, a poor boy in Garlyne ; 29, Margt. Fraser, widow, in 
Milntoun. These got from 6s to r8s each. It is added that 
Donald Calder, Taylour ; John Macdonald in Croft ; and Alex. 
Gow at Garlyne gote six pence to be divided equally amongst 

A list is also given of ** such as are Dead, whose Intermtfit 
had beeti paid for:'* — I^udovick Nairn, a stranger, 12s; Anna 
Campbell in Belnaglack, £1 04s ; Isobell Mlntosh in Clachack, 
£1 IDS. In some years the poor of Abemethy and Kincardine 
are classified separately. 

From these lists it would appear that there was a deplorable 
amount of poverty in the parish. In 1740 the condition of 


things was specially severe, and the minister called a meeting, 
which was held at Garlyne on the loth June, to consider "the 
lamentable state of the poor and the scarcity of maintenance 
for their relief." He proposed that the parish "should be 
stented to pay an peck of meal out of each aughten part >t 
for their present relief," but the gentlemen present would not 
agree, and the "pious design,** "after many admonitions and 
entreaties,** had to be abandoned. There are many notices of 
charity given casually or in urgent cases. For example, it is 
minuted 30th August, 1741, that "this day's collection was given 
to inter William Gregorach, who died within the bounds of this 
parish;*' lytli November, 1754 — "the collection was given to 
Anna Mackay, a gentlewoman in Inverness, who by fire and 
accident was reduced to poverty and straits ; " and in the 
minute of May 18, 1756, there is the curious entr>'— " A sixpence 
of this day*s collection was given to three English men wounded 
by the Spaniards.** Certificates were granted to persons who 
had fallen into poverty from accidents. March 29th, 1741, is 
minuted — "The Session appoints a testificate for John Burges, 
Smith in Croftcroy, having his house, tooles. and instniments, 
&c., consumed to ashes by accidentall fire ; also appoints 
testificates for Alex. Stuart in Conger and Janet Grant, spouse to 
Archibald McDonald in Croft,** but the reason is not assigned. 
Persons who held such certificates went bei;ging in other 
parishes, and thus the balance was so far adjusted as regaids 
charity given to strangers. 

DisciPUNK. — It has been said that the evil which nien do 
lives after them. This holds true, though in a sense dififereut 
from what Shakespeare meant, as to Session Recor s. While 
there is much that is good recorded in these old books, the evil 
certainly predominates. The minister's texts are carefully 
noted, and then comes a woeful comment in the cases of 
discipline. Sunday after Sunday it is the same; the black 
calendar runs on without stop. Almost at every meeting there 
are two or three cases to be -dealt with, and then besides there 


was the frequent horror of rebuking of offenders before the 
c.ongreg:ation. Two things strike one forcibly in reading these 
records —first, the vastness of the claims of the Church in 
supervising the conduct of the people, and then the ineffective- 
ness of the methods pursued for this purpose. In the present 
day the complaint is often made that the Church has lost power, 
and that discipline is not carried out. This may be true ; but 
whatever may be done in the way of reform, there will be no 
disposition to go back to the rude and repulsive ways of our 
fathers. The cutty stool is gone forever. In our parish the last 
instance of public rebuke was in the days of Mr Martin. The 
usual notice had been given. Then the ladies of the congrega- 
tion concerted what they would do. So when Mr Martin called 
upon the culprits to come forward, Mrs Grant, Birchfield, and 
Mrs Macdonald, Coulnakyle, from the galleries, and Mrs 
Gordon, Revack, and Mrs Forsyth, Dell, from the body of the 
church, rose and walked out. This silent protest had the 
desired effect. 

Some illustrations of discipline may be given. The com- 
monest offences were breaches of the Seventh Commandment. 
Of these, ordinary cases were dealt with by the Session, and fines 
and censures imposed, but cases of an extraordinary kind were 
referred to the Presbytery. Sometimes with the contumacious 
the assistance of the civil powers had to be obtained. May 24, 
1741. — "The Session appoints Donald Grant, ground officer, to 
repair to Glenlochy, and apprehend the persons of John Stuart 
and Janet Cumine. servants to John Grant in Glenlochy, for 
their contumacy, according to his order from the Baillie of the 
Regality of Grant." January 17, 1748. — **The Session taking 
under consideration the contumacy of the following persons, 
viz.: — Isobel Clerach in Milntown, Margaret Sinclair in Lettoch, 
Janet Fraser in Achnagonallen, and Christen Stuart in Corrach- 
uillie, do think fit to make application to the Civil Magistrate, in 
order to banish them out of the parish, as all of them give up 
fiathers to their children that cannot answer the charge laid 


against them." Another and earlier minute, February 24, 1740. 
explains as to " banishment " — A list of 10 women. " strangers, 
who came from other countries," who, for their misbehaviour and 
contumacy, had been banished by order of the Baron Baillie, is 
given, and it is added " that if any person or persons within this 
parish shelters, harbours, or gives a night's lodging to any of said 
vagabonds, after the i6th day of March next, he or they for so 
doing shall be lyable in payment of five pounds Scots each nighi, 
Mies quoties, and the same being intimated this day by the 
minister from the pulpit, certifying as said is." Fines were 
sometimes applied to the making of Bridges, May 29, 1741. — 
**The Session appoints the penalty due by Thomas Burgess, 
Soldier, for his fall ... to be paid to John Grant Maclachlan 
in Rothiemune for the bridge built by him at the Laigh Miln of 
Abernethy. the said penalty being five pounds Scots." Similar 
appointments are made December 8, 1745, for a bridge **upon 
Burn which runs by William Davidson in Pytoulish his house," 
and a bridge upon " The Bum of the Miln of TuUoch " ; July 
20, 1751, for "Bridges upon Dorback, at Newton of Ellon, Nethy 
at Croft, and Altyewly at or about Lurg," it being stated '* that 
Bridges upon these places, were not only usefull and necessary 
for the parishioners, but also for Strangers, the above places being 
upon the public roads." The money was given on the following 
conditions : — ** That the said Delinquents may not be employed 
in the Work and that the Bridges may be worth the money " ; 
Croft Croy, 20th March, 1760, " penalty allowed for putting a 
Bridge on the Altmore under the Minister's house," the Manse 
then stood in the hollow, opposite the Sunday Well, below 
Milton; August 11, 1761, the penalties paid by James Grant. 
Surveyor of the Window Lights at Culnakyle, ;^2o ; James 
Stuart, in Connage, ;^io; and Lewis Grant, son to Kynethan. 
;^io, were allowed " for putting a Bridge on Nethie at Breas of 
CuUawullin," and a like sura was allowed to Ludovick Grant of 
Lettoch ** for putting a Bridge over Dorback. opposite to his 
house." Sabbath'breaki7ig,—ln 1749, William Roy, in Lyngarrow, 


was dealt with for ** cutting and bringin home timber upon 
Sunday"; loth February, 1753, **John Grant, Souldier in Capt. 
Fairbum's Company, Andrew M'Culloch in Rothiemune, Jr., and 
Robert Finlay, weaver in Achemack," are delated for rioting on 
Sunday, and were subsequently referred to the civil judge, the 
Session reserving the question of breach of the Sabbath ; March 
I, 1756, "James M'Bean in Torgarrow and Donald Smith in 
Croftmore, were delated for ** profaning the Sabbath-day by 
selling Timber" to John M'Gillivray in Clury, and Donald 
Cummine, sometime in TuUoch, and afterwards examined and 
fined. Defamation was sometimes dealt with. Kincaim, January 
10, 1748. John Cameron, in Gartenmore, complains that "Satirs 
were made upon him, and upon Donald Cameron his brother, 
implying curses and imprecations, which were rehearsed in 
William Fraser in Achtergaudach his family." After inquiry 
the Session wisely referred the whole matter to the Baillie of 
the Regality. On July 5, 1748, Marjory Cattanach, spouse to 
John Grant, Bellnaglach, was, after trial, found guilty of being 
"a Scandalous Calumniatrix, and Iyer, as also malicious," for 
defaming an unmarried girl, Anna Grant, and was ordered "to 
compear before the Congregation in this place on Sunday, the 
17th curt, and to stand in the place appointed for Delinquents, 
and there to be censured, and rebuked that others may fear 
hereafter to asperse the characters of any honest person." 
Lykwakes were often attended with disorders. Kinchardine, 
22nd May, 1757, it was delated that "at Donald Usach's in 
Inchbruach's Lick-walk, which was on Friday and Saturday 
nights, the 13th and 14th curt., there was Violing, Dancing and 
such like heathenish enormities " ; January 15, 1758, " Compeared 
James and Donald Mcintosh, Violers in Rymore, and confessed 
their error in playing at the Viol at Donald Lisach's Lick-walk." 
The Session, after admonition, granted them absolution on the 
condition that *' the one of them will be Cationer for the other 
that they will not be guilty of a like crime again, under the 
fuilzie of Twenty pounds Scots." The most serious cases 


recorded were an alleged case of poisoning at Bochonich in 
1743; the complaints of William Davidson, Pjrtoulish, 1753, of 
the slandering of his wife, Marjory Grant, by James Macbain in 
Torgarrow ; and of Thomas Stuart in Cotterton, 1756, of vile 
and opprobrious language being used against his wife by Anna 
Maculloch and her children ; and the petition of John Stuart in 
Clachglas, 1746, as to himself and his wife. Marjory Stuart, being 
slandered. These cases were investigated with much care, and. 
after reference to the Presbytery, were settled by the punishment 
of the offenders. The last case recorded was one of child 
murder:- ''Clachglass of Kinchardine. i6th August, 1761. — The 
Session having received the following dismal and shocking 
Report viz., That a male child lately born, was found yesterday 
by the Fishers drowned, anent the house of Kinchirdy in Spey. 
in the Pool commonly called Pool Marstack The Session taking 
this affair under consideration have appointed a meeting at this 
Place on Wednesday next the nineteenth current to make all the 
search possible, as far as I<aw will, for the Mother of the said 
child, by calling all young women unmarried, under fifty years, 
and Maidens above fifteen years, That they may be seen and 
searched, if there be any New milk in their breasts, whereby 
any of them may be suspected to be the mother of the said child, 
and appoint the Minister to Intimate this from the pulpit after 
Divine Service this day." Here the Session-Book ends, and the 
curtain drops upon this delicate ordeal. 




Damascus is called the oldest city in the world. Its history can 
be traced back to the days of Abraham, whose steward was 
Eliezer of Damascus (Gen. xv. 2). The oldest inhabited house 
in England is said to be what is locally known as the Jew's 
House, at Wallingford, which dates from the reign of Edward I. 
(1272-1307). It is curious to compare England with the United 
States. In the latter the oldest inhabited house is said to be 
that of William Van Rennselaer, opposite Albany, New York. 
According to a plate set up by the Albany Memorial Society, it 
was erected in 1642. The front walls still show the two port- 
holes, through which the early inhabitants used to shoot the 
Indians. In Scotland there are houses that have a hoarier 
antiquity that even the Jew's House. Dunvegan claims to have 
been continuously inhabited since the 14th century; Dunrobin 
(Sutherland) since the 13th; and Redcastle (Ross-shire) since 
1 179. From war and siege, and the long result of time, these 
castles havj undergone great changes, the old is merged in the 
new, and the original plan cannot be discovered. But it is other- 
wise with Castle Roy, which, though a ruin, and uninhabited for 
hundreds of years, still retains its first form and character. In 
M*Gibbon and Ross's learned work on "The Castellated and 
Domestic Architecture of Scotland," it is given as the earliest type 
of castle, and it is on this ground that we claim it to be the "Oldest 
Castle in Scotland." But before describing Castle Roy it may 
be well, for the sake of comparison, to refer to another so-called 
castle in our parish. On the hill above Loch Pytoulish there is 
an outstanding Crag, called Creag Ckaisdeall, It faces the west, 
and commands a wide view both up and down the Strath, The 


sides are steep and rugged, and the only access is from the 
south-west. On this height there are the remains of an ancient 
fort It is now but a great heap of stones, the haunt of rabbits ; 
but on examination the plan can be so far made out. The 
diameter is about 27 feet, and the thickness of the walls about 
1 1 feet. The material is the schist rock of the district. There 
are no marks of tools or mortar, and the walls seem to have been 
built after the fashion of the pre-historic cairns, such as those at 
Miltoun oi Kincardine and Loch-nan-carragh, near Aviemore. 
Probably the fort may have been used as a watch-tower or signal 
post, but there are no indications of fire or Wtrification. On the 
moor below, as in other places near, there are the remains of 
cairns and hut-circles, and on one massive slab there are four 
cup-marks. This fort is allied to the Brochs. Castle Roy, on 
the other hand, seems to hold a place between the Brochs and 
the Norman Castles. The time of Norman settlement and 
colonisation in Scotland was about 180 years, from the accession 
of David I. as Prince of Cumbria in 1107, to the death of Alex- 
ander III. in 1286. During this period numerous castles were 
built in the north. The first were probably of the Ca,stle Roy 
type, the Broch being enlarged and modified somewhat after the 
fashion of a Roman Castrum, of which there is a fine specimen 
at Richborough ; afterwards they were developed into more 
elaborate structures. "The general idea of the 13th centur)' 
Castles (in Scotland) is that of a large fortified enclosure. The 
plan is usually quadrilateral— but more or less irregular, so as to 
suit the site. . . . The curtain walls are about 7 to 9 feet in 
thickness by 20 to 30 feet high. The angles are frequently pro- 
vided with round or square towers, and no doubt these and the 
curtains had parapets with embrasures for defence, and rampart 
walks all round the walls. . . . The entrance gateway was 
always wide, and seems to have been generally provided with a 
portcullis. There is sometimes also a postern door." Castle 
Roy {Ruadh, red) belongs to the simplest type of these old 
fortresses. It stands on a height, from 10 to 15 feet above the 



level of the surroundiug fields, about 200 yards north of the 
present Parish Church. There is a trend in the ground to the 
east, separating it from the rocks of the Craggans, and below, 
towards the Spey, are wide meadows, still sometimes flooded, 
and in old times probably an impassable morass. 

** The walls are 7 feet thick, built with strong rubble work, 
and are still from 20 to 25 feet high. The enclosed space 
measures 80 feet from North to South by 53 feet from East to 
West within the walls. The entrance is by a door-way, 8 feet 
wide, in the north wall, the inner pointed arch of which still 


remains. There is a square tower, at the North West angle, and 
the remains of a large window near it, which has also a pointed 
arch in the reveal ; but it seems doubtful whether these are not 
later additions. The East angle of the enclosure is complete, 
without any appearance of a tower having ever existed there. 
At the South-East angle the wall is broken away, as if for the 
purpose of adding a tower similar to that at the North-West 
angle, but apparently no tower has ever been built there. The 
recess in the wall at the South- West angle, which is on the 
ground level, seems to have been used as latrines. There is a 
projecting garde-robe over this in the upper part of the wall, but 



no appearance of any tower at this angle either. The building 
seems to have been simply a large enclosing wall of great height, 
and was no doubt well defended from the parapet, for the purpose 
of sheltering the vassals and their property. There were probably 
wooden or other buildings within the enclosure, with roofs sup- 
ported against the curtains, but no trace of these now exists " 
(M 'Gibbon and Ross, Vol. I., p. 66). It may be mentioned that 
lyochindorb Castle has towers at the four comers, and is alto- 
gether of a more advanced type than Castle Roy. The stones 
of which Castle Roy was built must have been got from the 
neighbourhood. They are of small size. There is no trace of 
chisel or tool upon any of them. The lime employed was 
probably taken from Achnagonaln quarry, and there is the 
remains of a rude lime-kiln near the road-side, about a quarter 
of a mile to the east, where the stones may have been burnt. 
The mortar seems to have been mixed with charcoal, and is of 
singular strength and cohesiveness. The walls seem to have 
been built in stages, and the lines are well marked on the south 
side, showing that each stage was about 20 inches in depth. 
From the evenn >s and plumb of the wall, and the indications 
of its having been built by stages, it might be conjectured that 
the stones had been laid in a wooden frame, which was raised by 
degrees as required. There is an old Gaelic saying, /s ann tnu 
'n scach, or, uidh air uidh, thogar an Dun, ** It is turn by turn the 
fort is built," which favours this opinion. Tradition says that 
there was a crypt or vault in the central court ; and there were 
old people alive 60 years ago who alleged that they had seen the 
opening and steps leading to this underground apartment. They 
said it was the cause of accidents to cattle, and that, therefore, 
it had been filled up. There are other traditions of the kind 
common to old castles, as that a treasure or Ullaidh is hidden 
within the walls, but as the plague is hidden there also, it would 
be unsafe to search for it. Another legend is that there was a 
secret underground passage leading from the castle to the 
church. A strange old world story is told connected with the 



Mote-hill. It is said that one of the Barou Bailies, at Balliemore, 
had taken earth from the churchyard to put upon his fields. 
This gave great offence, and the Bailie had to discontinue the 
practice. Some time after, when sitting on the Mote-hill, he 
was stricken with apoplexy and died. The people said it was a 
judgment of God ; that though he had given up taking the earth 
with his hand, he had gone on doing it in his heart. 

Castle Roy is believed to have been built by the Comyns, and 
may have been their residence in the lyordship of Abernethy. It 
seems to have been still in use in the sixteenth century, as it is 
named, along with the castles of Tarnua and Hall Hill, in the 
Charter of the Earldom of Moray obtained by George, lyord 
Chancellor, 13th February, 1548. 





Wii^LiAM Grant, Slock, in the parish of Duthil, was a man who 
bore a high reputation for sanctity. He was one of the straitest 
of the sect called **The Men," and was not only venerated for 
his piety, but believed by many to be gifted with the spirit of 
prophec}'. When on his death-bed, it is said, he had great 
searchings of heart. In particular there was one thing which 
troubled him much. It had long been borne upon his mind that 
the miracle of the passage of the Spey should have been com- 
memorated. He himself had made preparations for this, as 
David had done for the building of the Temple, but he had not 
been able to carry out his purpose. As he was about to depart, 
he left it as a charge with his friends that they should do what 
he had left undone ; that they should take the stone which he 
had chosen, and, having had a suitable inscription cut upon it, 
they should have it erected at the spot on the banks of the Spey 
where the miracle had taken place. He is also said to have 
predicted that two broom bushes would spring up beside the 
stone and spread out till they had covered it over, and that it 
would be a time of trouble for Scotland when this happened. 
This dying charge was in due time faithfully carried out. The 
stone was prepared, and with much seriousness, as if it had been 
the Ark of the Covenant, was carried to the Spe}' and set up in 
the place appointed 9th March, 1865. It is said that the con- 
secration ceremony was ver>' solemn. There was praise and 
prayer, and the stone was set apart for all time, like the memorial 
stones of the Jordan, to bear witness to the miraculous passa^ 
of the Spey. ** It is right, however, to record," says Sir Arthur 
Mitchell (**The Past in the Present," p. 253), '^that the ceremony 



IS not always described as in every respect solemn. It is alleged, 
for instance, by some that the cart on which the stone was con- 
veyed from Slock to Garten was old and rickety, and broke down 
by the way ; that the horse which was harnessed to it was frail 
and not equal to its work except under constant stimulation ; and 
that the people followed the cart smoking their short black pipes. 
Whether these things are wholly or partially true, or not true at 
all, it is certain that the erection of this memorial stone was 

"• OF 5^ 



seriously and earnestly gone about as a pious act Luckily, in 
the very year of its erection (1865) I saw the stone, and then 
made the sketch of it which is here given." 

As might have been expected, this extraordinary event, 
occurring in the middle of the 19th century, within a mile of a 
railway station, in a district where education was advanced, and 
where the gospel was preached every Sabbath day, caused much 
excitement and contention. It was talked of in every company ; 


it was debated at every fireside ; it was discussed in the news- 
papers, not only in the local papers, but even in the Scotsman. 
Duthil was fast gaining an unenviable notoriety. Instead of 
being, as its people fondly called it, '* The Glen of Heroes" 
(G. Gieann-chearncach), it was in danger of becoming the "Glen 
of the Men of the Stone,*' with their worse than Popish mum- 
meries and superstitions. The result was that an Anti- Stone 
party was formed, and one day. to the surprise of the countr>% 
the sacred stone had disappeared. It had been ruthlessly broken 
up, and the fragments thrown into the Spey. This daring deed 
was done, under cloud of night, 19th February, 1867. The secret 
has been well kept. To this day the names of the perpetrators 
are not known. This seems appropriate. The stone had been 
erected in memory of one who was delicately called ** a certain 
zvomaHy* and it was fitting that the stone destroyers should 
remain modestly concealed as ** certain persons^ So much as to 
the story of the stone, and now something as to the legend with 
which it was connected. The following version is taken from 
the Inverness Courier^ April, 1865 : — 

" In tlie l>eginniug of the thirteenth century, a certain lady of the family of 
Mackintosh of Kylachy (a branch of tlw Mackintoshes of which the late Sir James 
MackintoHh was the reprenentative, and the bei»t it ever hail) wa« married to one of 
the eighteen sons of Patrick Grant of TuUochgoruni, and grantlatm of the first Lair^l 
of Grant. The laird gave Patrick the farm of Lurg, in Abernethy, as a marriage 
gift. After many years of domestic happiness Grant died, and w*8 interred in the 
clmrchyard of Dutliil, and soon after his lady ft^lowed him to the grave. The latter, 
on her deathbed, ezprassed a wihh to })e buried m the !*ame tomli with her husband. 
Her friends represented the impossibility of complying with her desire, as the River 
SjKjy could not be forde<l. ' Go you,' said she, *t<) the water-side, and if you proceed 
to a certain spot (which she indicated, — a spot opposite the famous Tom Bitlac, Uie 
residence of the once famous Bitlac Gumming), a passage will be speedily effected.* 
On arriving at the river side, at the place pointetl out, the waters were instantly 
divide<l, and the procession walked over on dry ground ! The story goes on to eay 
that the {)eople, on ol>serving an immense shoal of fish leaping and dancing in the 
dry bed of the stream, were tempted to try and capture some of the salmon which 
thus found themselves so suddenly out of their natural element ; but the angry 
waters refused to countenance the unmerciful onslaught, and returned once more to 
their channel. That the men thus engage<l should have escaped with their lives was 
cousidere<l almost as great a miracle as the former one, and a ' Te Deum * was sung 


by the entire multitude for their miraculous deliverance from the perils of the 
waters. The ftmeral attendants continued their journey until they reached the 
summit of the rock immediately above the present farm of Gartenbeg. Here they 
rested, and erected a pole some thirty feet long, with a finger-board on the top 
pointing to the particular spot where the passage was accomplished. Not a vestige 
of this pole is now to be seen." 

This version of the legend bears, on the face of it, many 
inaccuracies. First it errs as to dates. "Bitlac Gumming" 
lived not in the thirteenth, but the fifteenth century. Her name 
was properly Matilda ; she was the daughter of Gilbert of Glen- 
cairnie, who died about 1438. This was long before there were 
Grants at TuUochgorm or Lurg. The first Grant at TuUochgorm 
was Patrick, about 1600 ; and the first Grant of Lurg was Robert, 
not Patrick, younger son of Duncan, yr. of Freuchie, who 
received a grant of the land in 1613. The story of the eighteen 
sons of TuUochgorm is apocrjrphal, and is probably a wrong 
version of the tradition that there had been eighteen ** Patricks " 
at TuUochgorm. There are also mistakes as to the heroine 
of the story. She is called " a certain lady of the family of 
Kylachy." Sir Arthur Mitchell, who investigated the matter 
carefully, says : — " Other versions say she belonged to the 
Mackintoshes only by marriage, her first husband being the 
Fear-Kyllachie, and her second the Fear-na-Luirgan. She 
appears, indeed, sometimes as a spinster; sometimes as once 
a wife, sometimes as twice; sometimes as a Strathdearn, and 
sometimes as a Duthil, woman; now as having lived in the 
thirteenth, then in the fourteenth, then in the sixteenth, then in 
the seventeenth century — most frequently, I think, in the six- 
teenth or seventeenth ; sometimes as a Mackintosh ; sometimes 
as a Cumin ; sometimes as a Macdonald ; occasionally as a 
Grant ; but generally as a certain woman, without a name. In 
short, the tradition has no fixed form, and the measure of its 
variations is exceeding great." In Abemethy the invariable 
tradition is that she was called Mary, and that she was a Mack- 
intosh of Kylachy. Now it is the fact that John Grant of Lurg 
(1634) was married to a daughter of Kylachy, but her name was 


not Mary, but Margaret. She had a daiigliter called Mar>% 
who married Patrick of Tullochgorni about 1668. This may 
account for the confusion as to the names. Mary is a sacred 
name, and might hr»ve been put in place of Margaret, the original 
** certain woman " of the story. Margaret of lAirg survived her 
husband, who died 1653, and had as her second husband Robert 
Grant of Easter Elchies ; but she still retained some connection 
with Lurg. as she engaged in litigation with Catharine Stewart, 
the other dowager, in 1654, and is mentioned as paying cess for 
Clachaig and Lurg in 1667. Probably she survived her second 
husband and had returned to lAirg. Assuming this to have been 
the case, what more natural than that she should have expressed 
a wish, when on her deathbed, to be buried with her fathers in 
the sacred ground of Dalarossie ; and if the Spey were in high 
flood at the time, and this were urged as a difficulty, what more 
likely than that she should have said not to be afraid, that the 
Lord would open a way. Then, supposing that by the time of 
the funeral the flood had subsided, and that the Spey was low 
and easily fordable, what more probable than that this should 
have been spoken of as something remarkable, a fulfilment of 
the holy lady's prediction, and that the natural event should in 
course of time have been magnified into a miracle ! There is a 
story told of the Lady of Lurg which agrees with the popular 
conception of her character. In Notes by Sir -^Eneas Mackintosh 
of Mackintosh, Bart., written about 1774, it is said, in the section 
*' Attendants on a Chiep' : — ** The Laird took always with him on 
his travells the son of a Gentleman, of the name, who might 
happen to be in reduced circumstances ; he was a Companion 
to the L**' delivered messages, wrote letters, and gave orders." 
It so happened that Lurg's son was chosen for such a post — to 
travel with the young Chief of Grant. When he was leaving, 
his mother gave him good counsel, and said to him that she had 
put a Bible in his valise, and that she begged of him, as he loved 
her, to read it often. This he promised to do. In due time he 
returned. When his mother was unpacking his clothes, she 
came upon the Bible, and, taking it in her hand, she said to her 


son that she hoped he had kept his promise. He answered that 
he had. She then opened the book, and shook it, when out 
there dropped two £5 notes, to the sorrow of the mother, and to 
the shame of her graceless son. 

legends are seldom pure invention. They have generally 
some basis in fact. But in the case of the Miracle of the Spey, 
wofuUy little can be found to account for so wonderful a story, 
or for the strong hold which it has taken of the imagination of 
the people. 

" I happened to be inquiring into thia legend about the time of the Paray le 
Monial pilgrimage, and I could not help seeing in Holy Mary a Duthil edition of 
Marguerite Marie Alacoque. The Church set her seal on Marguerite's devotion, and 
recognised, proclaimed, and recommended it to the faithful. What else did the men 
of Duthil do but a like thing for another Marie ? The journey to Garten with the 
miracle stone was in many respects a counterpart of the pilgrimage to Paray. Very 
different, it is true, was the ceremonial. Only the rough sons of industry formed 
the rude procession from Block. There were no lords and ladies among them. No 
elegance — no polish — no refinement — no saying of the joyful and the sorrowful and 
the glorious mystery of the Rosary — no repeating of paters, or of aves, or of litanies 
of the Sacred Heart— no singing of Magnificats or Te Deums attended the consecra- 
tion on Speyside of the undressed miracle stone, with its vulgar inscription, as they 
did the consecration at Paray of the English people to the Sacred Heart. The two 
pilgrimages, however, were identical in one grand respect — they were both the result 
of earne»-t religious convictions. Rough though the proceedings were in the one case, 
and polislied in the other, there was no difference between them when regarded as 
the outcome either of intellectual or emotional operations. The polish of the Paray 
ceremonial marked neither a higher order of intellect nor of religious emotion. It 
marked nothing but a higher general culture, nut a higher nature or constitution. 
The absence of osstheticism and refinement at Duthil resulted from no inferiority 
either of intellectual powers, or moral qualities, or religious feelings. Those who put 
up the rude miracle stone on the Spey were the same people, and lived at the same 
time, and were under the influence of the same kind of religious belief, as the 
pilgrims to Paray. 

** Perhaps I should go further, and call to mind that they were the same people 
as their countrymen and neighbours, who went neither to Oarten nor to Paray. 
Beyond question it would be incorrect to regard them as inferior in mental power to 
those living round about them, and I doubt if they ought to be considered as in 
reality more superstitious. Is it not true, 10 a greater extent than we like to 
acknowledge, that all of us yield, in our different ways, to superstitious feelings even 
at times when we are able to recognise their true nature ? "— (" Past and Present," 
p. 256-256). 




It is hard to form a right judgment of the public characters and 
events of the present day. Ignorance, prejudice, and other 
things are against us, and however much we try to be fair, we 
may fall into mistakes and injustices. Even with the daily 
newspapers to help us, we are often perplexed, for, though they 
should agree as to the facts, which is far from being always the 
case, they may difiFer widely as to the interpretation to be put upon 
them. If this be true of the present, we need not wonder if our 
difficulties are vastly increased, when we have to deal with the 
past, especially the far past. Here the light is dimmer, the path 
is more uncertain, and such glides as present themselves are not 
always or altogether to be trusted. The Days of the Baron 
Bailies in our parish may be said to extend from 1694, when the 
Regality' of Grant was erected by Royal Charter (28th February), 
to 1748, when the Regality Courts were abolished. As to the 
character of these times, we have first of all the general testimony 
of history. Burton says that (1698-1748) "the Scottish Bench 
had been profligate and subservient to the utmost conceivable 
extent." If this was the case in the high places, what could have 
been expected in the lower Courts? Burt says (Vol. II., 149, 
Jamieson's Edition), " The heritable power of Pit and Gallows, 
as they call it, which still is exercised by some within their 
proper districts, is, I think, too much for any particular subject 
to be entrusted with." He then shews how it may lead to 
"injustice and oppression, through the 'partiality' of the Chief 
and * the private resentment of the baily.' " He had been often 
told, for he had not been accustomed to attend these Courts 
himself, of one Bailie in particular, who seldom examined any 


'but with raging words and rancour (a very Jeffreys), and if the 
answers made are not to his mind, he contradicts them by blows, 
and one time even to the knocking down of the poor wretch who 
was examined." As to the pride of the Bailies, Burt says — 
" When he travels, in time of snow, the inhabitants of one village 
must walk before him to make a path to the next, and so on to 
the end of his progress ; and in a dark night they light him from 
one inhabited place to another, which are mostly distant, by 
carrying blazing sticks of fir." Then we have the evidence of 
tradition. No doubt tradition is not to be depended upon, but 
it certainly gives the impression made upon the mind of the 
people, and it must be taken into account in forming our judg- 
ment of the times. In this parish there are several places con- 
nected with the doings of the Bailies. There is the Drowning 
Pool, at Balliemore, where, it is said, witches and other women 
criminals used to be put to death. Then there is the Gallows 
Tree near Lynstock. This venerable fir still stands, though it 
must be over 300 years old. At a height of 12 feet from the 
ground there is a strong projecting bough, and it is said that it 
was from it the fatal cord or wuddie was hung. There are marks 
of graves at the foot of the tree, tradition says of two brothers, 
as stated by the Rev. Mr Grant, and therefore the tree is some- 
times called " The Tree of the Brothers." But it is said that the 
usual place of interment was in a plot of ground opposite the 
Causair Smithj^ where bones have been found. Another hanging 
place was at Tom-a-chrochair, Hangman's Hill, which may have 
been used when the Courts sat at Rothiemoon, where there was 
a Toll'dhubh, Black Hole, or prison, the hearthstone of which is 
still to the fore. Other traditions exist connected with Achemack 
and Con gash. Then we have with regard to our parish two very 
important sources of information, one largely incorporating 
tradition, and the other dealing with facts, viz., the Old 
Statistical Account (1793), by the Rev. John Grant, and the 
Court Books of the Regality of Grant, in five volumes (1690-1729), 
preserved in the Record Office, Edinburgh. Before quoting Mr 



Grant, it may be well to consider how far he was a competent 
witness. Mr Grant, as stated in Chapter XI., was a native of 
Duthil, and born in 1739. His father, w^ho died in 1795, aged 86, 
was of the old family of Milton, and his grandfather or great- 












. ,_ , . i 


grandfather appears to have himself acted as a Bailie (1704). Mr 
Grant would have been able therefore to obtain information 
at first hand. Then Mr Grant was settled at Abemethy in 1765, 
only 17 years after the abolition of the Regality Courts, and 


there must have been many people then alive who could speak 
from their own knowledge of the Bailies and their doings. 
Besides, Mr Grant was minister of the parish for 56 years, and 
during that time he had ample opportunity for enquiry and 
examination. It has been endeavoured by Dr Scott of the Fasti 
and others to impugn Mr Grant's veracity and trustworthiness. 
It has been said that he was Chaplain of the 97th Regiment, and 
that having several sons in the army during the Peninsular War, 
he was in the habit of reading the newspapers to his congregation 
when anything of importance occurred regarding the progress 
of events and so on. There is in this a mixture of truth and 
error. Mr Grant was for some time Chaplain of the 97th 
Regiment, and the report that he at times read extracts from the 
newspapers in Church is, no doubt, correct, but he had 710 sons 
in the army during the Peninsular War. The two sons of his in 
the service were Peter, Captain in the H.E. Indian Company, 
who died in 1810, and George, in the Bombay Infantry, who died 
in 18 19. Mr Grant may have been a poor preacher, and rather 
of the type of minister common at that time, both in England 
and Scotland, described by Wordsworth : — ** He was often the 
patriarch of his parish, its ruler, its doctor, its lawyer, its 
magistrate, as well as its teacher, before whom vice trembled, 
and rebellion dared not shew itself. The idea of the priest was 
not quite forgotten, but there was much, much even of what was 
good and useful, to obscure it. The beauty of the English 
Church in this time was its family life of purity and simplicity : 
its blot was quiet tvorldliness^^ (River Duddon). But whatever 
view be taken of Mr Grant's statements, and although some of 
them may be regarded as exaggerated or even incredible, we are 
bound to give him the credit of sincerity and of courageous 
utterance of what he believed to be truth. With respect to the 
rapacity of some of the Bailies, for no doubt there were good and 
bad men amongst them, and some may have from greed and 
malice greatly abused their power, Mr Grant is supported by Mr 
Lorimer. In his MS. Notes, 1762, he says:— ** The Baillie had 


the escheat or the whole goods of the person condemned, and as 
the Laird of Grant took none of the fines nor escheat^ his Baiilie 
Knocktxndo laid the foundation of his fortune by such means" In 
another place he says that Delrachney's father was Lord of 
Strathspey for 40 years, that he made as much money as to be 
able to lend the Laird 22,000 merks. He also got an advan- 
tageous wadsett and a tack of Inverladnan for 76 years. 
Altogether he and his father are said to have made ;^30oo or 
;^4ooo by the family. With these preliminar>' remarks, we give 
Mr Grant's account, and some extracts from the Regality Books,^ 
leaving our readers to form their own opinions : — 

" We mil mention the bleasings we enjoy by the abolition of the Jurisdiction Act 
of 1748. That delegation of feudal |K>wer was dangeroiu in the extreme, becaase it 
wa« generally abused. When we consult the traditional history of the country for a 
century and upwards past, and the extraordinary conduct of some of these despotst 
the bailies of regality, and the precariousness of life and property, often within their 
jurisdiction, one is excited to gramp with fondness the government that has 
annihilated their dangerous ))ower. Iliey often punished crimes by committing 
greater ones themselves. They often, no doubt, trieii by jury, but some of them 
at other times in a summary, arbitrary, and extraordinary manner. A few instances 
will be enough to mention in ca^ the rca<1er should imagine that these things were 
ktely done in Tipixx) Sultan's domiuioni*. One of them lived in this parish named 
liobert Grant, c«)mmonly callcil Bailie More. It is said he used to lumg people for 
disobliging him. He seldom called juries. He liauged two brothers on a tree within 
1000 yanls of this town, and burie<l both in one grave on the roadsi<1e. Tlie grave 
and stone«< alxive it are still vinible. Another, nanie<l James Grant, commonly called 
Bailie Roy, who lived long in this iMiish, liAnge<l a man of the name of Steuart, and 
after hanging liini set a jury on him and found him guilty. The iwurticulars are too 
long to lie inserte<l here. Tlie )>ai1ie had many reasons for being in such a hurry. 
Tlie man was. unluckily for him, wealthy, and abounded in cattle, horses, sheep, and 
goats, all of which were instantly driven to the Bailie's home. Steuart *s children set 
a-begging, and his wife became deranged in her mind and was afterwards drowned in 
a river. It is not very long since. This same Bailie Koy, on another occasion, 
hanged two notorious thieves, jiarboiled their head», and set them up in spikes after- 
wards. At another time he drowned two men in sacks at the Bridge of Billiemore, 
within a few hundred yards of this manse, and endeavoured to compel a man from 
Glenmore, in the barony of Kincardine, to assist him and the executors he had with 

^ See Appendix, Note 9. 


him in the busineBS, which the man refusing to do, the Bailie said to him — ' If you 
was within my regality I would teach you better manners thai^« to disobey my com- 
mands/ This Bailie bought a good estate. Tliere was another of them, called Bailie 
Bain, in this country, who became so odious tliat the country people drowned him in 
S()ey, near the church of Inverallan, alx>ut two miles from hence. Tliey took off his 
boots and gloves, left them on the bank, and drove liis horse through a rugged place 
full of large stones. The track in the sand, boots, &c., discovered what had become 
of him, and when a search had been made for him doiim the river a man met the 
Ijarty near the church of Cromdale, who asked them what they were searching for. 
They answered, * For the bailie's body,* upon which he said, * Turn back, turn back, 
perhaps he has gone up against the river, for he was always acting against nature.' 
An their power was great and generally abused, so many of them enriched themselveM^ 
They had many ways of making money for themselves, such as (1) the bailie's darak, as 
it was called, or a day's labour in the year from every tenant on the estate ; (2) confis- 
cations, as they generally seized on all the goods and effects of such as suffered capitally ; 
(3) all fines for killing game, blackfish, or cutting green wood were laid on by them- 
selves, and went into their own pockets. These fines amounted to what they pleased 
almost. (4) Another very lucrative perquisite they bad was what was called the 
Herial Hoi-«e, which was the best horse, cow, ox, or other article which any tenant 
on Uie estate {josi^essed at the time of his death. Tliis was taken from the widow 
and children for the bailie, at the time they had most need of assistance. Tliis 
amounted to a great deal on a large estate. Tliis practice was abolished by the late 
Sir Ludovick Grant in tliis country in the year 1738." 

The following extracts from the Court Books of the Regality 
of Grant are mainly taken from a pamphlet by Win. Cramond, 
LL.D., F.S.A., Cullen :— 

** Followes the courtis and actis, seutances and pix)cc8A of the Right Honoll. 
Ludovick Grant of that ilk holdine be L. Collonell Patrick Grant, Tutor of Grant, 
hill baylie, be vertue of his comissione and letter of Bayliarie efter mentioned. Court 
of the pirot«hiue and lordship of Abemethie holdine at Culnakyll, the 2nd of 
January 1690, be the tutor of Grant, Baylie ; David Blair, notar and clerk ; John 
Maktourich, officer ; and Grigor Giant in Abemethi, procurator phiscall. Suits 
called, curia legitime affirmata. The said Bailie did elect and charge David Blair, 
notar publict, to be clerk to the said Court, who gave his cath de Jiddtj and did 
continue said John Maktourich, officer, and said Grigor Grant, procurator phiscall, 
they being creat members of court l>efor the preceding baylie. The said bailie 
prcHCiited his commission of iMuliaric. 

** Stealing Cbw«— 2nd January 1690. — Allaster Bayne, in Bellifurth, guilty of 
stealing or at least conoealling of the cowes pertaining to John Grant, alias Mak- 
allaster Vickandro, in Cromdall. Unlawed in 50 lib. 


^'Stealhoj iS/irrj). —David MakalUster, in Olenluchie, pursued at the inrtaoceof 
Alexander Qrmut, in Buruside of Cromdale, for reijuration of three weddcrs. He was 
found guilty as after a heastie daker Alexander Grant found in tlie defender's houw 
ane fresh mutton bouk, and the defender would not produce hyd and heid. To pay 
£9 Sc for said wedders with his ta^^iuill and expenses, and to pay £50 Sc. of unlaw 
to the fiscalL 

" Sheep 'ttmiingf Jx. — John Grant and Donald MacgreAMack, in ComgrasA, unlawed 
in 50 lib. the peice for theft for stealing from John 3ilaknokater, in Gleuloi^ie, five 
heid of eheip. TliomsM Troup, in Tullich, 50 Iil>. for striking and blooding of William 
Grant. Jolm MulUnrh, in Comgras?, 50 lib. for theft from Allaster Fraser. James 
Murray, in Acheniach, oO lib. ft>r ntealing two weddens from John Gow, in Cromdaill. 

" 8nl January 1690— ^'<<ti/i iiy Hoo^. ^Duncan Roy, in Garlhinmor, against Hden 
Taylor for stealing of ane seakfuU of wool! that he had hid in the tyme the Highland 
army went down Speyside. It weighed 44 stoue. She is ordained to pay it at 14 
merks the stone, also tasi^uill money and 50 lib. of unlaw. 

"Breach of Arrestment— 27ih November l690.->Findlay Beg Fraser, in TuUoch 
unlawe«l 10 lib. for breach of arrest. 

" Steal infj Plowjh /roM jt.— Donald Makrobie and John Makulister, big, in TuUoch, 
50 lib. each for stealing of pleugh irons. 

" Receipting Stolen Hoo/.— William Macaudachie, moir, his wiff in Lyngarrow, 20 
lib. for receipting of wool from her dochter, stolen by her from Duncan Roy, in 

•' Selling Moorf— 5th Januar}' 1690.— Thomss Mackenzie, in Culenakyll, 50 lib. for 
medling with the Laird of Grant s woods snd selling thereof without warrand. 

**Paffment of Rents, — The haill wadsetters, tacksmen, and tenant* of the parishes 
of Abemethie, ftc., to pay the duties, kayues, customes, and caaualties due to 
Ludovick Grant of that ilk for crop 1691. 

" Court of the parishine and Lordship of Abemethie holdin at Culenakyle, 25th 
Noveml)er 1691. 

*' Aaaault*. — Alexander Grant in Culdorach fined 50 lib. for beating and blooding 
of James lUyne. Jaiucs Cniishank, inaltnian in Ballachastell, convict in 50 lib. for 
beating and abuning James Ca.^ile:< in Achabrondach and his wife within tlwr own 
hous in silence of night, al.'^o .'lO lib. for licatting and abusing James Sheid and his 
man, who hKlged in the sai<l (VvmIca' Iiouh. 

** A raid on Drrnidc. — An action by the Laird of Monaltrie against AUaster Mak- 
grigor, vig., and Thomas Gedderer and Jolm Mackachall in Clachey. &a, for reparation 
of eight sheep or 40rt, the piece of the remainder of ane greater number stolen be the 
said tenants from Jamen M*K))herH«>ne, in Monaltrie, his man, upon the month of 
Deceml)er 1690. The Wilic onlaiuM them to )«ay the Kums demanded. 

" .9^«i/i/iy •So'-X-.*.— Donald Roy Fraser, aged 16 or 17, »«tole a sock from Issolvell 
Grant in Belimore, also a sock from Achernickes pleugh. An aasize of fifteen persons 
held, all sumameil Grant, namely, Patrick Grant of Tulochgorame, William Grant of 


Lurg, Qrigor Qrant of Qartinmorei Duncan Grant of Mullocbard, Juhn Oraut of Dell, 
Duncan Grant of Letoch. [The others are in not of So-and-so.] The assize finds him 
guilty, and refer him to the bailie, who ordains that the said pannell his lug be naUed 
with ane irone n&iU to ane post, and to stand there for the space of ane hour with 
entymatione, and then alowes him to break the grip nailed without drawing of the 
naill, and 'i>his he gives for doome, and lykways unlawes Patrick Grant, in Curr, his 
uiaister, in 60 lib. for reoepting of the sock. 

*' Stealing a Hone^ 11th December 1698. — John Stewart, roy, in Achnaconan fined 
£50 for stealing of Glengarik's horse, confest it was ill counsull caused him doe io. 

'' Luff» nailed for Burning Heather, — (James Grant of Gelloway, bailie.) Alexander 
Gardner, alias Murray, Patrick John Dow, milart, his son, Patrick Barron, son to 
David Barron accused for burning heather adjacent to the backside of the Craigmore 
of Abemethie, whereby much fir wood was burned. An assize sat on them. They 
are ordained to be taken to the gallows of the moor of Jtelintomb and their lugs 
nailed to ihe said gallows. 

** Wagei Jtxed by the Court, 13th November 1696. — Na man to give or any work- 
man to receive for his wages a day mor than 2s of money or ane hadish of meal. 

*' A Man and hit Daughter scourged at the OaUow Tree for TVic//.— Patrick Bayn in 
Rienacleych and lus dochter convict of theft. His friends became security for his 
good conduct for three years, and, that he at the close thereof, appear in court. 
Bailie Grant (of Gelloway) ordains him to be taken immediately from the court to 
the gallow fo(»t upon the moor of Belintome and tyed thereto be the executioner 
with hemp cords and his bodie maid naked from the belt upward and then to be 
scourged by the said executioner with ane scourge by laying upon his body 24 strypes 
to the efflision of his blood and then to be lowsed and let go, and Margaret Bayn, his 
dochter, shall be also taken forth to the gallow foot and tyed thereto immediately by 
the said executioner with hemp cord and her body made naked from the weast 
upward and then to be scourged with thratie (?) strypes be the hand of the execu- 
tioner till her blood run downs and then to banish the said Mai^aret from Strathspey 
not to return under pain of death. 

" Three Men Hanged for Stealing Cowt and 5Aecp— 2nd September 1697.— For 
stealing cows and sheep Gilanders MackOilanders, Thomas Mackienloch Innes, his 
man, and Donald Mackrobie, to be carried to the pit of Castle Grant, there to remain 
till Tuesday next the 7th inst., and upon said Tuesday morning to be brought to the 
Gallowhill of Bellintome, and all three hanged upon the gallows of Bellintome betuiz 
two and four in the afternoon till they be dead, and decerns Gregor Dow to be bound 
to the gallows the time of their execution, and to have his left ear cut off and to be 
sooui^ged and banished. 

'* Two Thieve$ Hanged— Yl^ August 1698. — John Barron, son to David Bairon in 
Abemethie, broke the house of John Fraser, stole his cheese, and committed other 
thefts. William MOandachie, taylior, commone theiff, somer and vagabond. An 
anize find both guilty, that they are oomDion thieves and have been trading in theft 



a long tam« bygane, and can fiud uo suretie. Both to he hanged on the 20th Auguat 
on the hill of Bellintome. 

" Bunting with the Hall-it Btrir. — Margaret Bayn, dochter to Patrick Bayn, aome- 
time in Inchstomach, bn>ught from the priiiou at Caatle Grant, as she who was 
apprehended within StrAtlutpey for several delinquencies, ei«i)ecially for haunting 
with the Halkit Steir and (ilendry hroken men and Keithren. To be brought to the 
Regality Crua^ at Qrautown to n)om>w, 14ih ini*t., and Inmnd thereto, and her bodie 
maid bear from the l>clt upward, and Hcourgc«l by the hangman with thratie strrpes 
and ane of her ears rutt off, and hIic to lie then lianishc<l out of Strathspey for ever. 

" Aquavit(r to be hrewrd atu( served to the diftrirt—Jnue 1703. —All the tenants to 
carry their l)ear for malt to the malt kiln at (^a^tle (trant. and to get 8 merks for it 
each boll, to lie sold at 16cL the pynt. !^one to im{M>rt malt out of any place but the 
four |)arishes. No A<|UHvitie to lie imixirted to the four jiariKhes, and the brewers to 
brew aqvavitie of the country malt, and to i<er\e the four |iainshes at reasonable 

" Court of the lands and lonlship of AWrnethie held at Culenakyll 9th March 
1704 by William Grant of Lurg, l>ailie of the said lortlshi)). 

" Tailori and Wrightu* Wa/je* .^jrrrf.— It is statut by the Viailie, with consent of 
the gentlemen of the country, tliat the day's wages of tailors shall be from 4s the 
best tradesmen and the meaner for 2s S<'. and their meat, and 5s a day to the best 
country wright, and the tran^^8t«or8 to )kay £5 of unlaw, both giver and receiver. 

" A$9aultinff a Woma^ .—Donald Dow in Bellamor unlawed £10 for striking and 
blooding Elspet Grant in Lettoch. ' 

" A$9auUing a Man. — Patrick Grant in Badiniden unlawed in 40b for atriking I 

Donald Roy, taylor in Bellamor. I 

" A rendennis in Highland garb. — Court of tlie lands of Tulchane Skeiradveyy | 

holdinat Delay 27th July 1704. By order of the Laird of Grant, yr., the bailie | 

ordains the haill tenants, malenders, tradesmen, and servants within the said bnds | 

that are fencible men shall provide, and have in readiness against 8th August, ilk ane 
of them, Highland coats, trcwes, and short hose of tartan of red and green set bread 
springed, and also with gun, sword, pintol, and durk, and with these present them- 
selves to ane rendevouze when called upon 48 hours advertisement within the 
country of Stratlispey, for the wiid Lainl of Grant or his father, their hosting and 
hunting under failie of £20 Sc., ilk ane, an<l the maister to outrig ther servants in 
the said coats, trewes, and that out of their fies. 

*' Ilk ane to hit own Shcal tng— SOih May 1706.— Ilk tenant to keep their own 
glen in due time of the year under failie of £5 and all in the glens shaU best in 
inbringing ther beasta to ther own proper shealings ilk nicht and nocht wrong ther 
neighbour's shealing or jiarticular pastur. 

** Breach of Sabbath~20i)\ November 1706.— John Stewart Roy in ComgesB fined 
£20 for bargaining upon the Sabbath Day. 20s Sc. to be given for ilk fox killed. 

" Bquitxdent 0/ CSistowu — 25th April 1711. — Ilk two-year-old custom wedder to be 
rentalled at £2 3s Id Sc. ; one-year-old wedder, SOs ; ilk custom goose, 10s Sc ; hen. 


28 6d Sc : ilk pwltric, ISl Se. : ♦tone .rf hrew U7n^, Ci Sc^ 4c. f .»»■> U^r *^*^^ lo 
be paid by those Ij^/jt. 

"ScW Jf-^A— Tbe ^:h«j.H :^«iLe .>t D-iihel m a {^rk oi v! tj^l ilk IS jvurt 
bftuix Yufli AD- 1 CAor!>txuM yew It. an«i the pnyinent to Je to th#» resj «?ctiv«' luilljUxU 
of the »rtni milli*. F'jot niCs»tA-i€si act* interi f'*- r»'i:Lr. f*in-!. t«» ?*»» lo o*rr\ tHit 
the act* au>ent irrii..iinz azvi *he*Il:r.^, *i.»? five o .r.-t.v' .I«»^ iKe l^»nl<hiv '» AWi^ 
nethy. For the «<-b».:r.-»j»ter •»€ A^jen^thy. all to j«*y \ r«ck l!i«» Auohten jviirt* thr 
milranit to o'Uer.t it ar«fi to V a*c;r<A.Me t»» «'he m\.* m ,lu^<t^r it jvivmeul of haU Ik 
)k>I1 uieaL 

*• Far^^ a»i// i^ii/f^. -Pjiyraent t.> Vie n*A«Ie f*r T.k fox knVl 4V S^\ : ilk \ounj: 
fox, 110* ; erery eagle, 20< Hk 1-1 *th pw^ .>f Ur^! r.. j^y 1:V» M. aiuI ilk mo'UmWr 
6« 8«1 M a fuDfL 

" Perllng Tr^M—\Mx July. 171i.— y«> peelinz^-f jfniwiuz biik trees to W alUnxts^, 
•* Price of 14 yjuU arinarite at 16a, aoe barre'I .>f M««e 10 pynles, pri\^ *J\K A\\\\ 
ane drinking b Toe at \a. 

*^ Mffffr BMmin^. — X'joe t»> take ufvine ham! to make any nu».»r burn in bill or 
deall, mr«* <w muir, efter the lut March nntil the <^>nies l^ nIiohio undor ibo 
penaltie!< contained in the Act of Parliament. 

" I'nrittffed .SViW.— Unris$?e<i swine utraying In be killetl. Aiitl no j«ejibl»<sl b«M*^r>« 
to be permitted to go aUmU 

"Jame^ Grant, in Rietn^^rc, late forester of the w<hmIji of Al«oruethio. ftui^l X'lOO 
Sc for breach of iraM, in not delivering up to the Lainl of (irant uionoy for \vot><l 
fiold to the people. 

"KtUing Kipper FUk—20th OcU>ber 1722.— Wm. Duncan, .me of the Hi\\\u\llloit 
of Abemethie, and Alexander Cuming, one of the English men *m servants, nt (^Un«« 
kyll, being taken two days ago killing kipper fiRh, are fine«l xTiO So. ea«*is So\«^iv^l 
tenants of Belintomb and Allachy fined £3 Sc each for cuttiuK vv(m>.1, j^o, 

" Sttaling of Pir, Birch, and Fruit Trtet, and Liw^.— Petition l»y tho Hon. J.uiu^« 
Grant of Grant, that the fir wooda in Abemethie and Olem-heriuHk iu>o dii;^1) o\at 
ttollen, aud carried away by tenants in Strathspey without any \vt4rrand, i\\\\\ tlmt \\\^ 
birk wooda are wholly destroyed by peiling of the bark thereof at \\w\v nU^i«\uv. nud 
leaving of the timber jietled standing rotting in the wikhIh, and iii^iuuNt (bo bi^-ikiuK 
of orchard', gardena, destroying of fruit trees and Kte;\ling of fruil, ami Ai((du!«l 
stealing lime from the lime kiln and houj^e of Ca^itle Gmnt by niv;1tt nnd \\y dny. and 
anent the great hurt and prejudice done to the tir wo^hU k^^I StmthHpey Sy outtiug 
and destroying standing trecM for to be i:andle fir to all tiie i.ih J>;tAnt«. AUi that 
all bear to be malt ought to be sent to the malt kil-i of V<v*x\t \ • *iint. The )vtition 
is granted. Penalty for stealing lime— 1st fault jCIO Sc, 'ind fauli 4:20 So., Sixl fault, 
scourging. For stealing woo<l— To pay the value aNo, £10 f<»r the fir*i, X-0 for the 
second, and £40 for the third fault, and if uoL rp^titonA;^! for iwiynuMit to be 
imprisoned 8, 15, or 30 days for the first, second, a:id third fauiis. and to live ujion 
bread and water during the said space, and at the end of Aaid Wfuth to be scourged. 


All conform to Act of Parliameut^ and the willfull contravenen of the said Acts, and 
destroyers and cutters of growing wihxIs shall be punUhed thereafter to death as 

"AndUach Sheep —Dec^mher 3rd 1725.— Alexander Grant in Dul presented in 
court ane wedder's ^kin and head found by dackering in the house of John Roy in 
Badenaden. He said it lielouged to himself in respect he found it as ane ablach 
beside the fir wtKxl, 6th December. J&me.^ Grant of Auchnakyle is become cautioner 
and surety for John Roy in Baflenaden, now in the pitt of Castle Grant, for the 
- alleged theft of wedders, under the jienalty of 500 inerks. 

" Killiny Deer — 9th Deceml)er. — Roderick M'Kenzie, servitor to Gregor Grant 
yr. of Gartenmore, confeiwed that he shot a <leer in the lainl of Grant's forestry, and 
brought it to his master's house, that he ki)le<l a roe in the same place and a deer in 
the Duke of Gonlon's forest. He and his master are fined £50 Sc. each. 

** Receipt of TA <•//.— William M'Culloch in Cunakylc unlawed £50 Sc. for receipt 
of si)oilzied gooils taken from Duncan Grant, CuUnafey, and another £50 Sc for 
eating and recepting kipper fish in forbidden time. 

^* Sheep deMroyed by Poxes and Eaglet, —The gentlemen tennants and others in 
the regality of Strathspey represent they sustain continual and daily losses by the 
foxes and eagles killing their sheep, and entreat the judges to fall on proiier methods 
for preventing said damages by stenting a fund on all the country people, and by 
offering rewards for those destroyed, therefore in April and May next the gentlemen 
and tenants in the four parishes of Strathsi>ey shall pay a sufficient year-old wedder 
or 2s stg., and each melander [cottar] that has sheep ane sufficient lamb or 128 Sc 
For a fox or eagle killed £2 Sc. each to be paid. 

" A Mill Refnoved—SUt July 1728.— The mill of the Braes of Abemethy to be 
transported to Clachag." 




There is more historical interest connected with Coulnakyle 
than with any other place in our parish. Castle Roy had its 
story, but it is lost in the mists of the far past. Balliemore had 
its Bailies, Rothiemoon its Tolbooth, Balnagown its George's 
Fair, Lurg, Achernack, and Gartenmore their Cadets of Grant, 
and Tulloch its songs and traditions of fight and forays ; but all 
these were incidental and fragmentary. With Coulnakyle it is 
different. It has not only a name, but a history. Here Edward 
of England may have flaunted his banners ; here the trumpets 
of Claverhouse have sounded ; and here Montrose and Mackay 
have pitched their tents. Here Chiefs of Grant have dwelt; 
here Baron Bailies have held their courts ; here the managers of 
the York Company resided ; here tacksmen like Captain Mac- 
donald, sportsmen such as Richard Winsloe, and ''summer 
visitors," changing from year to year, have had for a time their 
home. Coulnakyle has been a centre of life and interest for 
more than six hundred years. Long may it continue so. Coul- 
nakyle is named in the Register of Moray as far back as 1226. 
In a Feu Disposition by Patrick, Bishop of Moray, to James 
Grant of Freuchie of the lands of the Barony of Strathspey, 
dated 24th February, 1539, **the lands of Cannocawill" are 
mentioned as part of the Barony. Then in the marriage 
contract between Sir John Grant of Freuchie and Mary Ogilvie, 
daughter of Sir Walter Ogilvie of Fyndlater, nth December, 
161 3, **the lands of Culnakyle in the tenandry of Fynlarg regality 
of Spynie " are designated. In a contract of excambion by Sir 
John Grant of Freuchie. 27th October, 1627, among other lands 
named are ** the lands of Culnakyill and Auchnahandett, with 


the teindsheaves thereof in the tenandry of Fynlarg, diocese of 
Moray, and shires of Elgin and FoiTes and Inverness held in feu 
of the Bishop of Moray." 

For seventeen years in the sixteenth centur>' (1565-1582) the 
Manor-house of Coulnakyle was occupied by Duncan Grant, 
younger of Freuchie. He came to Coulnakyle while Queen 
Mar>' was still a prisoner at Lochleven. Here he brought his 
young wife, Margaret, daughter of William Mackintosh of 
Dunachton, by whom he had five sons and two daughters. This 
lady survived him, and had an eventful histor>'. marr>'ing for her 
second husband Alexander Gordon, 3'ounger of Abergeldie ; and 
for her third, William Sutherland of Duffus. She was alive in 
1627, when, as I<ady of Duffus, she granted a discharge for 600 
merks to Sir John Grant of Freuchie. Duncan, younger of 
Freuchie, from his love for our parish, and from his residence 
within its bounds, was commonly called '* Duncan of 
Abernethy" or ** Duncan of the Woods." He was a man 
of much shrewdness and energy, and took an active 
part in punishing raiders, and in establishing law and 
order in the country. He also added considerably to the 
possessions of the family. In 1569 we find him associated with 
his father in a Commission of Justiciary, by King James VI., for 
the trial of George M*Yntagart and others, who in the October 
and February before had raised fire and committed oppressions 
on the liegLS in Rothicmurchus and Glencharnich. To this 
commission is attached a notarial instrument declaring that 
*' ane rycht honorabill man, Duncan Grant, Sone, and apperaud 
air to ane rycht honorabill man, Jhone Grant of Frewchy," had 
taken the oath dc fidcli in the Burgh Court of Elgin on the 2ud 
September, 1569, ** before thir witnes Jhone Hay in Allanboy, 
Farchar Robertson in Allachy, Jhone Rutherfuird, William 
Young, and Thomas Kar, Burgessis." In 1750, Duncan took 
part along with his father in a contract of marriage between his 
sister, Barbara, and Colin Mackenzie, the young Chief of Kintail. 
The year following, another matrimonial contract was entered 


into for uniting Helen Grant with Donald, the son of Angus 
M'Alastir of Glengarry. Such alliances were highly politic, as 
they not only secured the friendship of these chiefs, but also 
served to protect the Laird of Freuchie's lands of Urquhart and 
Glenmoriston. In 1578 Duncan came into possession of the 
lands of Ardneidlie, Keith, which had belonged to the Earls of 
Huntly, but had been disponed to the family of Baillie, and 
sub-feued by them to the Meldrums of Eden. We get a glimpse 
of the strange doings of those times from the document relating 
to the disponement of the lands. In it Meldrum says he had 
been informed ** be sinister report and informatioun " that John 
Grant of Freuchie and Duncan Grant, his son and apparent heir, 
were '* participant of the, spoilzies of horse, nolt, and scheip " 
from the lands of Ardneidlie and others, about midsummer and 
September respectively in the year 1578. Acting upon this 
information, Meldrum had raised a summons against the Grants, 
which had been duly executed, but he now declared that 
** because it is cleirlie knawin to me sensyne that they ar 
innocent, and na way was participant of the said spoilzies," he 
therefore not being willing to ** trowbill thame be the law for the 
samyn," renounces all action against them in all time coming. 
Duncan Grant died in 1582, and was buried in the family 
burying place at Duthil. His eldest son John succeeded his 
grandfather as Laird of Grant. Of his other children, James had 
Ardneidlie ; Patrick, Easter Elchies ; and Robert, Clachaig aud 
Lurg. His will, of which only a much mutilated copy remains, 
was made at Abernethy on the 19th February, 1582, and an 
inventory of his moveables was made on the 1st May of the same 
year, after his decease. These documents are interesting, as 
showing what were the possessions of an elder son residing in a 
Highland manor-house in the i6th century. It is stated that 
the "frie gear*' amounted to /'2181. The stock, corns, and 
plenishing are given in the inventory, from which it appears that 
the young Laird was possessed of "Ky three scoire xix," 
**queakis tuazeir auldis xiiij ; zeir auld scho beastes ellevin; of 


steris of thre zeir auldis fyftein ; and of twa zeir auld stottis ten ; 
of hie steres of zeir auldis sax ; of drawin oxin in the plewis thre 
scoir and sax, price of the pice v lib ; of scheipe and wedderis 
twentie four scoir and ten ; of lambs ten scoir and tua, of wairk 
hors twa, with ane, &c" The •* insycht geir " contained among 
other articles, '' xx pair blankaitts ; xxiiij pair scheitis ; zxiiij 
coiddis, four sewit cowerings, tua Flanderis werdowris, with xij 
pellit cowerings, tene feddir beddis, xij bolsteris, sax quhytt 
plaidis. Item three silver peicis extending to xxx unce of silver, 
ane disson silver spunis, extending to auchtein unce ; ane sailt 
failt extending to aucht unce of silver, four disson plaittis, with 
xviij truncheons, with vj poittis, and ox panis, ane brewin 
calderon, thret speittis, thre krewkes. Item aucht chanlairis, 
thre stand of neprie.*' 

Coulnakyle continued to be occupied as the manor-house 
after Duncan of Kreuchie's death. Sir W. Fraser gives a copy 
of a man rent, between John Grant of Freuchie, elder son of 
Duncan, who had succeeded his grandfather, and John Dow 
M*Gregor. brother of Alister M'Gregor of Gleystray, which was 
executed at CoiTlnakyle on the 20th June, 1592. In this bond 
John McGregor, ** lor diverse guid deid is done, and to be done to 
him, be the said Johne Grant, and for the auld friendscheip and 
kyndnes betwix their predecessouris, and for the causis following, 
is bound and oblist, and be the tenour heirof buides and oblissis 
him and his forsaidis and promisis faythfuUie to concur, assist,* 
fortifie and serve the said Johne Grant, his airis and accessouris 
and sail lealie and treulie tak an fauld and treu pairt with him 
and his forsaidis, in all actionis, questionis, querralis, debaittis 
pursuitt or defence that the said Johne Grant and his forsaidis 
lies or hapins to haif ado aganes quhatsumever person or personis 
our Souverane I/)rd and his autoritie, and my Lord of Argyll 
onlie exceptit." John Grant of Freuchy binds himself in like 
manner, the King and Lord Huntlie only excepted, but it is 
curious that as to ** actionis," there is the qualiacation ** honest," 
and as to "doing the same as to his own kin and friends," the 


words are added, *'but fraud or gyll." The witnesses are William 
Gordon of Geych, Patrick Grant of Rothiemurchus, Patrick 
Grant of Ballindalloch, Gregour M*Gregour, son to umquill 
Owen M*Gregour, and John Dow M*William M'Gilliechallum. 
The latter could not write, and the words are added after his 
name — *' With hand at the pen led by Mr William M'Gregour, 
Notar Publict, at my command." There must have been a great 
gathering at the old manor-house on this occasion, with much 
hilarity. But the end was not so pleasant as the beginning. 
Freuchie's intercommuning with the Macgregors brought him 
into trouble. He obtained a royal remission in 1613 of fines 
imposed for resetting, but a year later he was tried by a Court 
Arbitral for '* his unlauchfull and wilfuU resitt of any of the Clan 
Gregour, since thay were declarit rebellis and fugitives" (1610), 
and, •• being fund guyltie and culpable," first, for his own part, 
and, secondly, for his Clan, he was fined the sum of 16,000 
merks. The fine was promptly paid. 

During the wars of the 17th century Coulnakyle was occupied 
now and again by the contending forces, and the country round 
suffered much, both from friends and foes. When Montrose 
made his hurried march from Aberdeen, in 1644, he found his 
passage barred at Fochabers. Moray was in arms against him, 
and the Spey was impassable. He, therefore, made his way up 
Speyside. In the quaint words of Spalding, i8th September, 
1644, **he draws himself to the Wod of Abemethie. and their 
lyes he." Coulnakyle was his headquaners; but he was soon 
compelled to shift. Argyle was hard in pursuit, and, as Spalding 
says, Montrose '* leaves the Wod of Abernethie and to the Wod 
of Rothiemurcouss saifiie goes he, and thair remanes a while." 
Argyle followed, and, as he passed on, **plunderit pitifuUie." 
After the splendid victory of Inverlochy, 2nd February, 1645, 
Montrose returned to Morayshire. At Elgin he met the I^ird of 
Grant, and gave him an assurance of indemnity, certifying to 
him and his Clan **that after they shall clearlie instruct and 
gratifie their said losses ('prejudice and skaith through the 


armies marching tlirogh their bounds') th^y shall have rqjwi- 
tione and repayment therof furth of the first and readiest of his 
Majesty's rents or other casualties within the kingdome of 
Scotland at ane convenient occasione heirafter; provyding 
always that they continou ther fidelitie and loyaltie in his 
Majesty's service." The ** convenient season" never came. 
The Laird's zeal waxed cold as Montrose's fortunes waned. 
He sent some men to the army, but Montrose alleged that they 
were *'bade and feu . . . like to Jacob's dayes," and that 
they also played the run- away when it suited their interests. At 
other times he complained bitterly that he had not received 
adequate support Then came the Battle of Naseby, 14th June, 
1645, the triumph of the Covenanters, and the order from King 
Charles for Montrose to disband his forces. Montrose was in 
Strathspey at the time, and his reply, written with a sorrowful 
heart, is dated 2nd June, 16^6. There can be no doubt that 
Montrose did much, by his gallantry and devotion, to sustain the 
Stewart cause in the north. ** Give me leave." he said in his letter 
to King Charles from Inverlochy, "after I have reduced this 
country, and conquered from Dan to Beersheba, to say to your 
Majestic, as David's General to his master, come thou thyself, lest 
this country be called by my name." The influence of Montrose's 
campaigns, strengthened by his heroic death, may be seen in the 
'* risings" of 1715 and 1745. In the times of the Commonwealth 
there seems to have been quiet in Strathspey. Glencairn, in his 
brief struggle, had, at one time, like Montrose, to seek shelter in 
the Forest of Abernethy (1653), but there is no record of his 

In the Wars of Mackay and Dundee, Coulnakyle became 
again a point of importance, Mackay, being hard pressed, made 
a rapid march from Inverness to Speyside. He fixed his camp 
at Coulnakyle, where he was joined by two troops of Living- 
stone's Dragoons. The place was well chosen. At the rear was 
the Spey, the Nethy guarded the right, and woods and marshes 
protected the front and the centre. *'A summer dwelling of 


Grant's," says Mackay, " where there were some meadows and 
fields of com proper for the nature of the party, whose strength 
was most in horse." But though the Laird of Freuchie gave help, 
Mackay and his men seem to have had a hard time. The weather 
was cold, the supplies were scanty, and many horses died. 
Disaffection began to work. The General kept on the alert. 
Scouts were sent out, and a careful watch kept, with outposts of 
dragoons in the woods, and foot soldiers along the Nethy. In 
the beginning of June, Captain Forbes of CuUoden, with some 
sixty of the Grants, joined Mackay, bringing the intelligence 
that the Castle of Ruthven had capitulated to Dundee. They 
also brought proof that some of Mackay's men were in league 
with the enemy. Mackay found it necessary therefore to break 
up his camp. He left at night, and retreated to Balveny, but 
five days later he was back again at Coulnakyle, and comfortably 
esconced in the Laird's ** summer dwelling!" Dundee retired 
southwards, and a smart skirmish took place on the moor of 
Grainish. The battle of Killiecrankie, fought 27th June, 1689, 
ended the chivalrous career of Dundee. In the end of the year 
the tide of war again rolled towards Strathspey. General 
Buchan. who was now in command for King James, marched his 
forces through Badenoch, and reached Coulnakyle on 29th April. 
The ** summer dwelling" was again occupied. After a council of 
war, the army moved next day down to the Haughs of Cromdale. 
This move was against the advice of the Highland officers, and 
led to disaster. Taken by surprise in the early morning by the 
forces of Sir Thomas Livingstone led by the Grants, Buchan and 
his men were severely handled, and some four hundred slain or 
taken prisoners. The well-known Ballad, which strangely mixes 
and confuses the battles of Auldearn and Cromdale, com- 
memorates this defeat. 

** We were in l>ed, sir, ever)' man. 
When the English host upon us cam* : 
A bloody battle then began 

Upon the Haughs of Cromdale. 


** The English horse they were sae rude. 
They bath'd their hooves in Hieland blude, 
But our brave Clans they boldly stood 
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale. 

** But, alas ! we could no longer stay, 
For ower the hills we cam' away ; 
And sair do we lament the day 

That e*er we cam' to Cromdale." 

Two incidents may be mentioned in connection with the 
battle, not hitherto recorded. A Highlander, who was known as 
" Tremearbag," was one of those who fell. His gun, Spanish, 
with long barrel, and fluted curiously carved stock, came into 
the possession of the Stewarts of Glenmore. Charles Stewart of 
Knock refers to it in his hunting songs. It is now in the hands 
of one of his descendants. 

Another victim was some nameless Highlander, who fell at 
his post at the Ford, near the Church of Cromdale. His grave 
was in the corner to the south of the road, ** where the grass long 
grew rank and green, distinguishing it from the rest of the 
field," like Balmaphapple*s grave at Prestonpans. It is now 

Dundee's death may be said to have rung the knell of King 
James's cause, but the fatal blow was given at the battle of the 
Boyne (July i, 1690). The following letter from General Mac- 
kay to Cluny, for which we are indebted to Provost Macpherson, 
Kingussie, is interesting, as shewing the pressure that was 
brought to bear on the Chiefs of Clans, and the heavy exactions 
that were made upon their people. Mackay had written from 
Elgin, 6th May, 1689, and again on the 21st May, but still more 
urgently the month following: — 

" Sir, — Sir Thomas Liviugstone having allready acquanted you, that I was to call 
for Sheep and Cowes, for the use of the army, when I encamp in Badenough. I 
doubt not but they are allready provyded, so I desyre that you may have two 
hundred Cowes, and six hundi'^d Sheep at Kivan in Badenough again Sunday at 
twelve o'clock being the £9^8tant, and you shall have reddy money for them. If 


you fail in this, I assure you, I will turne the army loose upon the country, who will 
not spare neither houses nor cowes. Take this advertisement from, sir, 

'' Your assured friend, 
" At the Camp att Coulnakyle, " H. Mackay. 

" The 27 June 1690." 

The Manor-house was still in use in the days of the Baron 
Bailies and the York Company, but gave place, about 1770. to a 
new house built by Sir James Grant. This was usually occupied 
by some of the Grant family. Marion, daughter of Sir Ludovick, 
died at Coulnakyle, 28th February, 1807, and Lewis Alexander 
Grant is entered as residing there when the census of 181 1 was 
taken. In 1818 it was occupied by Captain James Macdonald, 
at a rent of ;^2i3 6s 6d, but the farm probably included then 
more land and pasture than is now possessed. Captain Mac- 
donald had a family of two sons and four daughters. His eldest 
son, James, retired from the Indian Service as Major-General, 
and his second son, Donald, died in India as Surgeon-Major. 
General Macdonald had also two sons in the Military Service. 
One of them, Major Dugan, was accidentally killed by a fall 
from his horse in Hyde Park, and a monument to his memory 
has been erected in the Parish Church. The other, Sir Claude 
Macdonald, is Her Majesty's present representative in China. 
When the letting of grouse moors began, Coulnakyle was 
occupied as a shooting lodge. Amongst other tenants was an 
English gentleman, Mr Richard Winsloe, who took a fancy to 
the place, and made it the home of himself and family for 
several years (1838- 1846). Mr Winsloe's sons all became 
soldiers, the eldest in the Queen's Service, and the other in the 
German Army. The record of their services is remarkably 

1. Colonel R. W. C. Winsloe, retired from command of the Royal Scote Fusiliers 
in 1887. Served in the Crimea, 1866-56 (medal and clasp, and Turkish medal) ; 
Zulu Campaign, 1879, severely wounded at Ulundi (medal and clasp, Brevet of 
Lieut.-Colonel) ; Transvaal Campaign, 1880-1 ; commanded troops at Siege of 
Potchefstroom (wounded ; mentioned in dispatches) ; Burmese Expedition, 1886-7 ; 
in command of the Royal Soots Fusiliers and Thayetmgo district (mentioned in 


dispatches ; mecUl) ; A. D. C. to Her Majesty, 1882>90 ; Jubflee medal, 1887 ; 
clasp, 1897 ; reward for distinguished senrice. 

2. Lieutenant -Colonel Alfred, bom at Coulnakyle ; Ist Lieb Hucaren RegimeDt 
(Oermany), and Equerry to H.RH. the Qrand Duke of Mecklenbuig StrditL 
Served in Austro- Prussian War, 1866, and Franco-Oermao War, 1870. Besides 
other orden* and medals for distinguished service, received the Iron Cross. Is now 

8. Colonel Qeorge ; commanded the 16th Oerman Lancers, 1887-90 ; served in 
the Austro-Prussian, and the Franco-German Wars. Besides other honours, has 
received the Iron Cross. 

4. Lieutenant Herbert, of the 22nd German Dragoons. First officer killed in 
the Franco-German War at Nieder-bron, in Alsaoe, July, 1870. Monument erected 
to his memor)'. 

6. Major Edward Von Winsloe, late Captain in the 22nd German Dragoons; 
now^ Major on the Staff and Hof Marshal to H.S.H. the Prince of Schaumberg 
Lippe. Served in the Wars of 1866 and 1870-71, and, besides other honours, has 
the Iron Croas. 

6. Major Arthur, Major in the 9th German Dragoons. Served in the War 
1870-71. Amongst other honours has the Iron Cross. 

7. Captain Frederick, 7th German Lancers. Served in the Franco-German War. 
Many orders and medals for distinguished service. 




Letters may become history. Now and again, from desks, and 
cabinets, and charter- rooms, and even from ruins of ancient 
cities, as, for example, the Tel-el- Amama Tablets, Egypt, 1500 
B.C., correspondence is brought out which throws light on the 
past, and puts us in touch with people who have long passed 
away. The following extracts are mainly taken from letters in 
"The Chiefs of Grant" Mr Donald Mackenzie, minister at 
Aberlour, in a letter to the Laird of Grant, dated 25th May, 17 16, 
gives a touching account of the evils brought upon Strathspey 
by the rebellion of 17 15. He says that when in Badenoch he had 
used his '* utmost skill and industry" to dissuade his friends 
from taking part in 

" The pernicious design, proposing that if they stood firm to the Qovemment, 
they and Strathspey beiug their nearest neighbours, might establish such a barrier 
as would considerably weaken the rebells, and defend the countrey from their 
incursions till the King's troops would come for their relief. But when I found all 
my essays to no purpose, with deep regrate I considered the melanchoUick situation 
of your couiitrey, being surrounded on all hands by superiour numbers in arms 
agaiost the Govemmeut aud then nothing appear'd but that they must either join 
in the conspiracy, or fall a sacrifice to the first eruptions of their fur}'. 

" Can any deny the imminent, ha^sird to which your countrey was expos'd, being 
I may say, indoa'd with powerful numbers engadged in the rebellion, haveing the 
Earl of Huntley on the East, the Earl of Marr, and Marquis of Tullibardin on the 
Southf the Earl of Seaforth and the Mackintoshes on the North, and all the High- 
land Clanns on the West, besides a number of private gentlemen with their followers 
interjected on all sides, particularly in Murray ? Does any man pretend that none in 
that confederacy had any bloody inclinations towards you and your friends, or 
thought that they had the opportunity longM for of retreiving their dissasters at 
Crombdale Hill with interest? Under such circumstances, not to admire the 
proyidenoe of Qod in their safety, were ane unaccountable complication of 
ingratitude and stupidity." 


The following extracts from correspondence between Mr 
James Grant, younger of Grant, and his factors, are interesting, 
as shewing the state of agriculture in the country, 1764: — 

" You are to acquaint the tenants that I am extremely desirous they should ail 
begin to improve, at leas! some parts of their grounds with lime, which, by the 
confirm'd and repeted experienoe of all the Highlands of Scotland — is found to be 
the best of all manures. ... I know that all country people, whose minds are 
not enlargei by proper education, are great enemies to all innovations, whidi they 
think will ruin tliem. This 1 am well assured, was the case with regard to Kail or 
cabbages, which was introduce! I into the Highlands not above 100 years ago. When 
the Heretors, who had seen Uie advantages of Kail in England and Holland, proposed 
to their tenants to plant them in their yards, they first resisted, and when the 
Heretors planted them, they pull'd 'em out by the roots, till the Herelcrs at last 
compeird 'em by fines in their Baron Courts to allow them to grow, and now they 
could not live without them." Then later he says: — "As I am desirous of intro- 
ducing the use of lime univerMally into Strathspey, let me have your opinion of the 
1>e»t method of doing this. I should think there should be quarries broke up at 
convenient places, and in the most accessible places, and that immediately after the 
bear-Heed is closed, the tenants should enter upon making roads from the quarries to 
l»e so contrived as best to suit every farm. I want to destroy as much as I can the 
l»ad cuHtom of carrying loads on the backs of horses, and in place of that, to intro- 
duce wheel-carriages both to the mill and the moor, and would have therefore good 
nNvda made out to both and so contrived as to meet or join in one another, and 
reudered as convenient as possible for all the tenants.*' 

In 1776, Mr Grant, yr. of Corriemony, advocate, writing to Sir 
James Grant, with reference to Urquhart, says— "There are 
about 1700 acres of arable ground in your estate, each of which, 
with the grass annexed to them, is undoubtedly worth twent>' 
shillings sterling. . . . Your estate of Strathspey is still 
further removed from its value than your estate of Urquhart." 
Mr Grant recommended the appointment of Mr James Macgregor 
as factor for Strathspey, and he says as to this: — Forres, 28th 
September, 1778 — "The farm of Balliemore is esteemed one of 
the best in Strathspey, and it will be of capital importance to you 
that it be in good hands. ... I see many advantages to be 
derived from Mr Macgregor's possession of that farm, daring 
your pleasure ; it will be of great importance that he be near the 


woods I am afraid some examples must be made by criminal 
prosecutions against wood stealers. Your wood sells cheaper at 
Inverness, after being floated down to Garmouth, than Rothie- 
murchus's wood sells at Rothiemurchus." The result was that 
Mr Macgregor was appointed factor, and resided at Balliemore. 
He appears to have met with considerable difficulties, as is often 
the case when a stranger has to effect changes in the way of 
justice and reform. Mr Grant writes, 1780—*'! find that Mr 
Macgregor has incurred the odium of many people on the banks 
of the Spey, not on account of any part of his conduct in regard 
to his own patrimonial interest, but merely on account of his 
fidelity towards you, and the dutiful execution of the trust you 
have reposed in him." The malevolent feeling against Mr 
Macgregor shewed itself after a rent collection, 1779, when he 
was stabbed in the side by a man, Allan Grant, who was tried for 
the offence at Inverness, and punished. Lorimer says in his 
notes that limestone began to be used after the rebellion of 17 15. 
Strathspey men saw in Fyfe the good effects of lime, and took to 
the practice themselves. As to improvements, he says — " The old 
Highlanders cultivated very little ground ; they lived on milk, 
cheese, a little flesh of sheep or goats, and on the blood of their 
cattle, and, most of all, on the plunder and booty they took from 
one another, and from the Lowlanders, and, lastly, in shooting 
deer and roes." He also says that "of old it was reckoned 
unlucky for a son to plough one foot more ground than his 

James, second Earl of Fife, gives a lively account of a visit 
paid to Strathspey, in a letter to Lady Grant : — 

" Mar Lodge, August 17, 1784. 
" Dear Ladt Orant, — I had a great mind to see a country I had gon through 
about a few years after you was bom. I came to Belivard the 11th, just as the sun 
had got behind the Mar hiUt. I directly walked down to Castle Qrant. There was 
just light enough to shew me that Sir James had don a great deal to cultivate the 
grounds and cover the moors, hedges and a new road to the house. ... I then 
found light enough to cany me to the inn, where a very civil Mrs Gumming, with a 
▼ery stupid husband, gave me a good chicken and a clean bed. At six next morning 



I set out pass'd the industrious city of Grantoun : the iohabitantB mostly hroiim 
windows, and in bed with thut doors. A little from it my guide told me was Lady 
Qrant's tta house and garden. I almost dropped a tear to see it so forlorn. I pro- 
ceeded to Abcrnethie— John Grant the Minister — a fine Rituation, a Kirk standing 
betwixt him, and Factor MacO rigor, which mui[t have cost Sir James much mosey, 
the doors oppen, and all tlie large windows broke. I wished the minister set on the 
stool and the factor in tlie pillory. I proceede<l forward, and at a place called 
Lettoch, on the rood, a man knew me, and forc'd me into his house. The face I 
remember'd perfectly, Sir James's old Se: vant and Sister Ann's maid. I was more 
than I can express surprised at the eligant cleanness of their little habitation and 
the farm wonderful. The man cannot be too much encourag*d. He worry'd me to 
eat and drink, but having breakfast at Belivard my stomach was uncivil and would 
receive nothing. From thence I proceeded through hills and glens and got to Mar 
Lodge by four oVIock. I resolv'd the first day I re.'tted from shootiag to give you an 
account of my jouniey, and to express my wish that Lewis Grant in the early part 
of his life may be a little us'd to Strathspey views and climate. It will turn out 
wonderfully for his interest. If he knows nothing of it before he is of age, I am 
afraid after that period he will not relish it." 

The sarcastic notice of the neglected state of the Parish 
Church indicates a condition of things which was sadly common 
in those days. Tennant said that the Scotch not only believed 
that our Lord was born in a stable, but act on the assumption 
that he should be worshipped in one. Bums indignantly 
exclaims — ** What a poor business is a Presbyterian place of 
worship — dirty, narrow, squalid, stuck in a corner of old Popish 
grandeur, such as Linlithgow, or how much more Melrose." 
But things were just as bad in England. Cowper in one of his 
papers in the " Connoisseur," 1756, ** Letters from Mr Village," 
says—" The ruinous condition of some of these edifices gave me 
great offence, and I could not help wishing that the honest 
vicar, instead of indulging his genius for improvements by 
enclosing his gooseberry bushes within a Chinese rail, and 
converting half-an-acre of his glebe land into a bowling green, 
would have applied part of his income to the more laudable 
purpose of sheltering his parishioners from the weather during 
their attendance on divine service. . . . The noise of owls, 
bats, and magpies makes the principal part of the church music 


in many of these ancient edifices ; and the walls, like a large map, 
seem to be portioned out into capes, seas, and promontofies by the 
various colours by which the damp has stained them,'' 

The following quotations are from "The Old Statistical 
Account," by Rev. John Grant, and are interesting for com- 
parison with the state of things at the present time : — 

** The Crops here are, barley, oata, rye, potatoes, chiefly the small black oats ; on 
some farms pease, and a good deal of white oats. The Crops here are often pre- 
carious, and frequendy misgive to a very distressing degree. There are only five 
farms in the parish in any degree of improvement. On these are good houses, 
offices, and some good enclosures, limed and prepared with green crops for grass, 
which answers well." ..." The produce of the parish is corn aud potatoes ; 
it never maintains its inhabitants, and often, when a failure happens in the crop, 
falls far short Some often buy meal for six months in the year. After a pretty 
strict calculation, it is found, that only about 6 firlota of meal grow, at an average 
of years, in the two parishes, for each person in them." [The population was then 
1769.] ..." Men Servants get from £?• lOs to £3 in the half-year ; women ISs 
and £1, and some more ; men labourers generally Is the day ; women 6d, when 
engaged for the day for peats." ..." There is a class of people much neglected, 
at least little attended to, not only here, but in most countries in the Highlands, 
ie., The Cottagerg. They not only have their houses from subtenants, but sometimes 
from the subtenants of subtenants ; and few of them allowed to keep a milch oow, 
or a horse, even for paying for them. This, in a country where there is not constant 
employment for such, by daily labour, must of course keep them miserably poor, 
and force them often to beg, or tempt them to pilfer. If heritors were to assign 
small spots of land for them in centrical places, near the principal farms, from which 
labour might be expected most ; and let each of them have a house and garden, and 
about two acres of ground for corn and potatoes, this would maintain a cow, and 
perhaps a small horse, and they might join about ploughing their spots. Four or 
six would be enough together ; crowding a number of poor people together might 
defeat the design. This might answer well for small tradesmen, such as country 
shoemakers, tailors, weavers, kc, and promote their comfort, honesty, and usefulness 
to the neighbourhood." 

Mr Grant seems to have anticipated the modem cry of 
" Three acres and a cow." Unfortunately, his wise and kindly 
suggestions were not acted upon, and now the number of 
cottagers or cottars, especially in connection with farms, is 
smaller that ever, much to the loss of the country. 




At the upper end of Kincardine, there is a projecting crag, on 
the face of Pytoulish hill, which is called ** the Baron's Chair." 
From this vantage ground there is a wde outlook. No fairer 
scene can be found in all Strathspey. Immediately below is 
Loch Pytoulish, bounded by the meadows of Guislich and the 
romantic height of the Callart. To the west are the sombre 
forests of Duthil, backed by the broad Monaliadhs. Southward is 
the grand entrance to the Strath, with TuUigru and the Ordbain 
on the left, Craigellachie and Kinrara on the right, the rich 
haughs of the Dell and the Doune in the centie, with the Spey 
sweeping past, and I/)ch-'n-Eilan and Loch Alvie sparkling like 
jewels in the rich setting of the woods and mountains, while 
behind the hills of Badenoch and Lochaber rise dimly in the 
distance. Loch Pytoulish bounds the lands of the Barony, 
which lie along the Spey to the eastward. First there is a moor 
ending in clumps of oak and hazel, beyond are the birch-clad 
heights and warm hollows of Pytoulish, with the sunny fields 
and pastures of Drumclune, Clachglas, and Achgourish stretching 
away towards the dense woods of Garten and TuUoch. Then to 
the east are the hills of Craigowrie, with the grand pass of the 
Sluggan leading to the forest of Glenmore, famous for its loch, 
and pines, and hunting grounds. For three hundred years the 
land was possessed by a branch of the Royal Stewarts, and 
tradition says that the successive Barons loved to repair to this 
spot, and to look abroad with pride and delight on their fair 
inheritance. Cicero said of Ulysses, that he loved Ithaca, not 
because it was broad, for it was small and not big, but because it 
was his own. Touchstone, in the play of ** As you like it," has a 

IN THE baron's CHAIR. 1 65 

similar sentiment. " An ill-flavoured thing, Sir, a poor virgin, 
but mine own^ So might the Barons have said of Kincardine. 
We can imagine one and ajiother sitting in the chair and musing 
sometimes in joy, sometimes in sorrow ; and it may be at times 
pacing to and fro, like the Baron of Bradwardine with offended 
pride and indignation, "measuring and re-measuring with swift 
and tremendous strides the length of the terrace" at Tully- 

Walter, the first Baron, was the third (natural) son ol 
Alexander, Earl of Buchan, better known as **The Wolf of 
Badenoch." He got a charter of the lands of Kincardine from 
King Robert the Third at Perth, in the tenth yeai of his reign 
(1400). This Walter was knighted for his valour at the battle of 
Harlaw (141 1), and was called ''an Ridir ruadh'' or Red Knight 
He married Isobel Fenton in i ^36. The pedigree of the family, 
as given by Duncan Stewart in his History of the Stewarts (1739), 
is as follows :— I, Walter ; 2, Alexander, married Mary, daughter 
of Mablean ; 3, James, m. daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh ; 4, 
Donald, m. daughter of Lochiel, said to have died 1518; 5, 
Donald, m. daughter of Laird of Macgrigor and >^4dow of the 
Laird of Mackintosh ; 6, James, m. daughter of the Laird of 
Grant ; 7, James, m. daughter of Rose of Kilravock ; 8, Walter, 
m. Margaret, daughter of Robertson of Calvin or Clunie, ancestor 
to Robertson of Lude. He had three sons, John, James, and 
Robert. John m. Janet, sister of Mackintosh, commonly 
designed SherifiF Bane. 9, James, who succeeded, ra. daughter 
of Shaw of Dell, representative of the Shaws of Rothie- 
murchus, and by her had Donald, 10, who m. first, his 
cousin, Marjory' Stewart, d. to Robert Oig, and second, Barbara, 
d. of John Shaw of Guislich, and by her left an only son, well- 
known by the name of John Roy. Stewart says—** Robert, third 
son of Walter, had a son called Robert Oig, who married a 
daughter of the famous Angus Williamson, tutor of Mackintosh, 
and by her had three sons— Alexander, John, and Angus. 
Alexander was father of Bailie Stewart, late Collector in Inver- 


ness ; and Angus had several sons, one of them Commissary 
John Stewart in Edinburgh. Most of the Stewarts in Strathspey, 
Murray, and Inverness are corae of Kincardine, and some of 
them are settled about Kelso. There is one near Newcastle who 
has a fine estate." It will be seen from this pedigree that the 
Kincardine Stewarts married well. Perhaps their royal blood 
made up for their lack of broad lands. As Burton says— "These 
Stewarts went forth like others, wandering unfortunates, with no 
hold upon the world but that which their heads and hands and 
perhaps the lustre of their descent gave them, and in the end 
they rooted themselves as landed lords and princes." So it was 
with the Stewarts of Kincardine. For ten descents they held 
their place and prospered fairly. But then came evil times. 
The family fell into difficulties. Poverty came like an armed 
man. Shaw says that they ** continued in good repute till about 
the year 1683. John Roy, the last Baron (a silly ignorant man)^ 
was in a manner cheated out of his estate by his brother-in-law, 
Alexander Mackintosh, Sheriff Bain, who made him sell it to the 
Marquis of Huntly for a very trifle, and the family is extinct" 
A MS. genealogical account of the family (about 1720), somewhat 
mutilated, gives a different account — "John, who succeeded him 
(Walter, his father), married a daughter to the Laird of Grant, 
by whom he had Patrick, who was a weak man, and married a 
sister to Alexander Mackintosh of Connadge, called Sheriff Bain, 
which Sheriff, being an artfull. treacherous man imposed upon 
the weakness of Baron Peter, his brother-in-law, and in place of 
a Factory which he pretended was to doe the Baron great 
services, he betrayed him to sign a full and formall disposition 
of all his Estate, which disposition he soon after assigned to the 
Duke of Gordon, who now possesses Kincardine in virtue of said 
disposition. This Peter had children by Sheriff Bain's sister, 
but all are dead and extinct." That the Barons had been in 
pecuniary difficulties is undoubted. Ivorimer says in his notes 
that lyaird Lewis was pressed by his friends to buy Kincardine, 
but that he refused out of a point of honour that he would not 


take advantage of his neighbour's distress. The Gordons were not 
so scrupulous. There is a tradition in the country that certain 
of the Kincardine Stewarts who had prospered in America 
remitted money for payment of the debt upon the estate, but 
that it was appropriatefd by Sheriff Bain, who alleged that he had 
invested it in houses till the mortgage fell due, and that the 
houses had been destroyed by fire. Shaw says that the family 
became " extinct/* and this was true as regards Kincardine ; but 
they had, and have still, representatives both at home and 
abroad. Colonel John Roy Stewart of the '45, and Sir John 
Stuart, Count of Maida, belonged to the family. In our 
own time, the late Rev. H. C. Stuart, Vicar of Wragby, 
claimed to be a lineal descendant. He stated that his grand- 
father came from America, where his ancestors had found a home, 
and that the late Sir John Stuart was a cousin, whose sister 
married into a branch of the Tweedale family ; that his father 
was in India (where he himself was born) with the Marquis of 
Tweedale, who was his intimate friend. Mr Stuart gave his 
pedigree, taken chiefly from papers in the Charter Chest of 
Stuart Hay of Newton Hall, as follows:— Starting from the 9th 
in Duncan Stewart's Book — Walter had three sons, John, James, 
and Robert. 10. Robert had a son, Robert Oig Stewart. 11. 
Robert Oig had three sons, Alexander, &c. 12. Alexander was 
father to John, a merchant in Inverness. He married twice. By 
his first wife he had two daughters, Margaret and Marion. 
Margaret married Captain Wedderburn, and Marion a Mr Reid. 
By his second marriage, to Christina Macleod, d. of Macleod of 
Macleod, he had seven sons, John, Henry, Francis, Patrick, 
Norman, Allan, and William, and one daughter, Anne. John 
was the father of Sir John Stuart, who died unmarried. Anne 
married Richard Hay of Newton. John, the eldest son, was a 
Colonel in the Guards, and afterwards Superintendent of Indian 
Aflfairs in America. 13. Henry, the second son, was father of 
Charles Swede Stuart. 14. Charles Swede was father of Henry 
William ; 15, and Henry William was father of Henry Cumber- 


land Stuart, late \-icar of Wragby. Mr Stuart had a great love 
for the land of his fathers, and \nsited Kincardine several times. 
Sir Bernard Burke tells that in searching out the pedigree of the 
Fyndemes. he \nsited the village of F>Tideme, near Derb}% but 
could find no trace of the family. No stone of the Hall remained. 
The Church contained no brasses or records. At last he fell in 
with an old man, and questioned him. " F>Tidemes," he said, 
** we have no Fyndemes here, but we have something that once 
belonged to them, we have Fyndeme Flowers." The old man 
then led him to a field where there were faint traces of terraces. 
*• There," said he, pointing to some garden flowers growing 
wild, •* there are the Fyndeme F'owers, brought by Sir Geoffrey 
the Crusader from the Holy Land, and do what we will we 
cannot get them to die." So it was with the Stewarts of Kin- 
cardine. Their menior>- and their name is gone. There are, 
indeed, some memorials. The names of places associated with 
their histor>' remain. There is the site of the Baron's House, 
with one old apple-tree to mark where a garden had been. 
There are also Siraan-nan-Laoi^h, the little Strath of the Calves ; 
Cat-nan- Caorach and Cat-nan-Gobhair^ the Cot of the Sheep and 
the Cot of the Goats, telling of their flocks and herds. There is 
also Cttil Bhardidhy the Bard's Croft, where the Bards who sung 
their brave deeds dwelt. There are also Tom-Mhoid, where 
they held their Courts, and Tom-na-Croiche^ the Gallows- 
hill, where justice was executed. And to mention but one 
more, there is Lag-nan-Cu^baircan^ where the archery buchts 
stood. But there is no stone, no coat-of-arms, no memorial 
tablet of any kind, to mark that such a family had ever held 
sway in the district. What brings them nearest, and what 
touches our feelings most, is the plant in the Churchyard called 
the Baron Lady's Flower — the Dwarf Elder. Mr Stuart, when 
he visited the home of his ancestors, was much distressed that 
there was no proper memorial of the Kincardine Barons, and he 
resolved to have this want supplied. His early death prevented 
this, but through the kind offices of Miss Winn, of Nostell 

IN THK baron's CHAIR. 1 69 

Priory, the wish which he had fondly cherished was carried out. 
In 1885 a granite monolith was erected in the Churchyard where 
the Barons buried their dead. The monument beats at the 
top the motto, ** Dominus lux Nostra," and on a polished 
shield, the following inscription:— *' Sacred to the memory of 
Walter Stuart, grandson of Robert II. of Scotland; and his 
family, who possessed the Barony of Kincardine-*i374-i683. 
Also of H. C. Stuart, vicar of Wragby, one of their descendants, 
who died i6th S«»ptember, 1884. To fulfil his wish this memorial 
is erected." 




John Roy {Ruadhy red), as he was commonly called, was one 
of the men who came to the front in the rising of the " Forty- 
five." Scott, in "Tales of a Grandfather," calls him "a most 
excellent partisan officer." Chambers, in his "History of the 
Rebellion," says ** he was the beau-ideal of a clever Highland 
officer." His courage and resource, his devotion and trust- 
worthiness, his gift of song, and the culture and military skill 
which he had acquired from service at home and in France, 
made him a great favourite with Prince Charlie. He used to 
call him "The Body," and loved to consult him. Besides, there 
was the tie of blood, and the subtle force of sympathy. Both 
were exiles, and disinherited. Both were fighting in the same 
cause, and animated by the same hope. When the Prince 
came to his kingdom, then John Roy and others would get their 
rights. The "auld Stewarts back," Scotland would be Scotland 
again. In "The Lyon in Mourning" a touching account is 
given of one of the last meetings of the Prince and John Roy. 
The Prince, after his many wanderings, had reached Badenoch, 
and was in hiding in " The Cage." He sent for John Roy, and, 
when he heard that he was at hand, " he wrapped himself up in a 
plaid, and lay down, in order to surprise John Roy the more 
when he should enter the hut. In the door there was a pool, or 
puddle, and when John Roy was entering the Prince peeped out 
of the plaid, which so surprised John Roy that he cried out, * Oh, 
Lord ! my master,' and fell down in a faint." This simple 
incident brings out vividly the relation in which they stood to 
each other, the kindly humour and cheerfulness of the Prince 
after all his trials, and the unfailing love and loyalty of his 


John Roy was the son of Donald, grandson of John, the last 
of the Barons of Kincardine. His father was twice married. 
His second wife was Barbara Shaw, daughter of John Shaw of 
Guislich, a descendant of the Shaws of Rothiemurchus. It is 
said she was fifty-three years old when she married, and John 
was her only child. Motherhood at such an age is rare, but not 
incredible. Constance, daughter of Ruggiere, King of Sicily, was 
more than fifty years when she was ** married to Emperor Henry 
VI., and by him was mother to Frederick II." (See notes, 
Dante's Paradise). John Roy was born at Knock, Kincardine, 
in 1700. He received a good education, and his position in society 
and residence in France and Portugal gave him a higher culture 
than was common in his native strath. He was for some time 
Lieutenant and Quarter-master in the Scots Greys. In his songs 
he refers to this regiment, and in one addressed to his comrade 
and friend, Nathaniel Grant of Delrachny (Duthil), he speaks of 
the service they had seen, and of their hopes of preferment in 
the " Black Watch," which was being raised in 1730. But these 
hopes were dashed. John Roy applied for a commission, and 
was refused. Irritated by this rebuff, he soon after retired from 
the King's service. An interesting glimpse is got of him at this 
time in a letter from Lord Lovat to the Laird of Grant, dated, 
Drumsheugh, near Edinburgh, 25th October, 1733 — "Your son, 
Kathron, dined with us yesterday, with poor John Roy Stewart 
and Lachlan Grant, and we drank heartily to old Castle Grant, 
and to all the fast friends of Craigelachy, and the downfall of 
their enemies." Another still mo^e significant incident occurred 
some time later. In the trial of Lord Lovat, Sir John Strange 
put this question to Che vis, one of the witnesses — **I desire 
you will please inform their Lordships whether you remember 
the time when Roy Stewart broke out of Inverness gaol." 
The answer was — "In 1736." He was then asked "Who 
was Sheriff at that time?" and the reply was "My Lord 
Lovat." The inference evidently being that Lovat had 
connived at the escape. According to the same witness. 


John Roy had gone straight to Ix)vat's house, after the feat of 
breaking the gaol, and had stopped there about six weeks. Then 
comes the following amusing but, for the old Lord, rather 
damaging revelation:—"! desire the witness may inform your 
Lordships, whether during the time that the noble Lord at the 
bar, and Roy Stuart were together, they diverted themselves 
with composing anything and what." Chevis answered **They 
did, in composing burlesque verses, that when young Charles 
came over, there would be blood and blows." Q. — "You have 
not mentioned it in a poetical manner ; pray can you recollect 
the lines ?" \. — ** When young Charlie does come o'er, there 
will be blows and blood good store." Q-— " I beg that you will 
acquaint their Lordships whether the verse that you mention is 
a translation or whether this is the original language in which it 
was composed?" A.—** It was framed in Erse, and this is the 
substance of one verse." It appears that John Roy went shortly 
after this to France, which was a kind of Cave of Adullam for 
discontented Scots. One Charles Stuart, another witness in the 
Lovat Trial, said that he met him at Boulogne, and that he was 
going to Rome, and expected through my Lord Lovat's influence 
to get the post that Colonel Allan Cameron had (State Trials 
XVIII. 588-9). Another witness still, John Gray of Rogart, 
may be cited. He was asked, ** Did you know John Stewart, 
commonly called Roy?" His answer was, -'^I have been 
acquainted with him when he was Quartermaster in some of the 
Dragoons." He was further asked, '* Did you see him among 
the Rebels?" and replied, "I saw him at Stirling." What 
cloathes had he on ?" ** He goes always very gay. Sometimes 
he had Highland cloathes, and at other times long cloathes." 
John Roy, having cast in his lot with the Jacobites, took an 
active part in the fighting in Flanders. He was in the battle of 
Fontenoy, nth May, 1745. The night before, he, with another 
Scot, made a visit to the English camp, and spent a happy hour 
with Lewis Grant of Achterblair and other friends. Next day 
they met in bloody strife. It was on the 19th August, 1745, that 


the *' Bratach BJin," ** the White Banner," was unfurled at Glen- 
finnan. The news of the rising soon reached France, and many 
a brave soldier, whose heart was in the Highlands, came 
hurr3dng home to take part in the struggle. Among these was 
John Roy. He joined Prince Charlie at Blair in Athole, and 
brought with him letters with offers of service from several men 
of note, but they proved of little value. As is common in times 
of excitement, the promise was better than the performance. 
At Edinburgh, where John Roy had been formerly stationed 
with the Scots Greys, he had no difficulty in raising a regiment. 
It was called " the Edinburgh Regiment," and though mainly 
made up of recruits from the mixed crowd that thronged the 
grey Metropolis of the North, it contained not a few men from 
Perthshire and Speyside, who added much to its strength and 
mettle. John Roy did good service at Prestonpans, where his 
friend Colquhoun Grant of Burnside also distinguished himself. 
Grant had brought down an English officer, and taken possession 
of his horse. When the Dragoons broke and fled, he and others 
followed hard in pursuit. Mile after mile was passed. At last 
the strange sight was seen of a party of Dragoons galloping up 
the High Street, pursued by a solitary cavalier. The Castle 
gave them shelter, and Grant, when he was stopped, stuck his 
dirk in the gate in defiance, and withdrew unscathed. He 
afterwards settled down as a respectable W.S. (Writer to the 
Signet) in Edinburgh. John Roy also took part in the skirmish 
at Clifton, when the cry ** Claymore," "Claymore," struck terror 
into Cumberland's men. The next notice we have of him is at 
Falkirk. Some of his old Dragoons were there under Colonel 
Whitney. Whitney recognised his friend, and cried out **Hai 
are you there ? We shall soon be up with you." Stewart 
shouted in reply, ** You shall be welcome. You shall have a 
warm reception." The words were hardly spoken when the 
gallant Colonel was struck by a chance shot, and fell dead from 
the saddle. The battle of Falkirk was indecisive. Both sides 
claimed the victory. 


** Says brave Lochiel, * Pray have we won ? 
I see no troop. I hear no gun.' 
Says Drummond, * Faith the battle's done, 
I know not how or why, man.' " 

In the retreat northwards, John Roy was of great service, not 
only from his skill and resource, but from his intimate know- 
ledge of the country. His Regiment is noticed in almost every 
Order, as specially singled out for patrol and scouting. " The 
guard of Roy Stewart's men are desired to make frequent 
pacronils out of the town on the roads that go to CuUen and 
Keith. One of the officers are desired to be always with the 
patronil, who will strictly examine every one they meet either 
going or coming, and if they stop any suspected person will send 
him to my Lord John Drummond." When stationed in Strath- 
bogie, an attempt was made to surprise John Roy, but he was 
too old a soldier to be taken unawares. He retired to Fochabers, 
and from there with Parthian cunning he made a sudden back 
stroke by night, cutting off a party of Campbells, and some thirty 
dragoons, and carrying terror into the town of Keith. John Roy 
commanded the Edinburgh Regiment at Culloden, which formed 
part of the first line that bore the brunt of the battle. It was 
said of him afterwards by one of Cumberland's captains that ** if 
all the Highlanders had fought as well as the ofiicer with the 
red head and the little hand, the issue might have been different" 
He himself poured forth his grief in a " Lament for the Brave 
who had fallen on Drummossie Muir," in which he attributes the 
defeat to the absence of the Macphersons and many of the best 
men, and the fierce blinding storm that blew in the faces of the 
Prince's soldiers. He also not obscurely hints at treachery. 
His faith in Lord George Murray had been shaken, and he knew 
that others of the Highland Chiefs shared this feeling. Long 
afterwards his son, referring to a reverse in America, expressed 
the old sentiment, ** From April battles and Murray generals 
good Lord deliver us." John Roy seems to have gone at first to 
Gorthleg. He also attended the gathering at Ruthven Cqstle. 


Then when the scattering came, he sought refuge in his own 
country. The pursuers were soon on his track. He was out- 
lawed and large rewards offered for his apprehension ; but like 
his Prince, though often in peril, he was never betrayed. One 
of his hiding-places was a cave in the face of Craig-odhrie, which 
still bears his name. From the loophole of this retreat he could 
look far and wide. Doubtless he often spied the red-coats in 
search of him, but he never lost heart. In his own vigorous, 
though somewhat rude verses he could say — 

" The Lord's my targe, I will be stout. 
With dirk and trusty blade, 
Though Campbells come in flocks about 
I will not be afraid. 

" The Lord's the same as heretofore, 
He's always good to me ; 
Though red- coats come a thousand more, 
Afraid I will not be. 

** Though they the woods do cut and burn, 
And drain the lochs all dry ; 
Though they the rocks do overturn 
And change the course of Spey ; 

*' Though they mow down both corn and grass. 
Nay, seek me underground ; 
Though hundreds guard each road and pass — 
John Roy will not be found." 

In one of his songs he speaks of himself as seated- under a 
waterfall, Slugan-an-Eas, with his badly-sprained foot held in 
the flood. He was weary and sad, but he cheers himself with 
the thought that still there was hope. Another time he was 
in hiding in Glenmore, wh'ire he had friends. A party of 
soldiers having got a hint from an Irish informer, were on his 
track. They had sat down to rest, with their drum on the path, 
when by came a fair-haired boy carrying a cog of milk. ** What 
is your name?" they asked. He said "Peter Bell." "Where 
are you going? " " To my father, who is working in the wood." 


As he stood talking to them he began to look at and handle the 
drum, as if curious about it. One of the soldiers said— "That's 
a pretty cog" (it was rimmed with silver). "What will you take 
for it?" *'I will give it for this bonnie thing," he answered. 
They feigned to agree ; but he had no sooner got hold of the 
drum than he made the woods ring with the notes of a well- 
known Gaelic air — 

" Buaidh thap leat Ian Ruaidh, 
'S trie a bhuail thu campaid." 

And then with the quickness of lightning he turned to another 
tune that meant warning — 

*• Bith falbh, 's na fuirich, 

Bith falbh. bith falbh ! 
Na tig a nochd tuillidh, 
Tha *n toir a tighinn thugad ; 
Na tig a nochd tuillidh, 

Bith falbh, bith falbh ! " 

** Be off, and stay not, 

Away, away! 
Come not again to-night. 
The pursuers are near ; 
Come not again to-night, 

Away, away I " 

John Roy heard the sounds, and cried out — "Whatever drum 
that is, the beat is Peter Bell's," for he had taught Peter himself. 

After this narrow escape, John Roy fled to Nethyside. He 
passed a night at Balnagown, where there was a wedding. 
Eighty-four years after, an Abernethy lady, Marjory Stewart, 
died at Grantown in her loist year, who used to tell how she had 
been present at the marriage, and had danced with John Roy. 
There are some alive still who remember her. From Balnagown 
John Roy went to Bad-an-Aodinn. There one day, resting in 
bed, and making merry with a child to whom he was singing 
and telling stories, a girl, Mary Grant, Achemack, rushed in 
crj'ing that the red coats were coming. With ready wit the 


gude wife cast an old ragged plaid about John Roy, and gave 
him a staff; and so in the guise of a beggar, cripple and bent, 
he crept along the hillside till he got within the shelter of the 
forest. His next place of refuge was at Counage, on the other 
side of the hill from Bad-an-Aodinn. In a wild, lone gorge at 
the foot of the cliff, shaded by birches and hazel, there still lies 
a smooth slab, under which he used to shelter. There, wrapped 
in his plaid, with his broad-sword by his side, he would lie, with 
the bracken for his bed and the music of the brook for his 
lullaby. A little girl fetched him food, and when a good report 
was brought he would climb the hill to Connage, and spend a 
happy hour with his friend John Stewart. But this could not 
last long. Tidings were brought to him that the Prince was in 
Badenoch, and that he was wanted. He gave his sporran as a 
keepsake to John Stewart, and set out. Kincardine, Glenmore, 
the lolaraig, and the haunts he loved so well were passed, with 
the sad foreboding that he should see them no more. He joined 
Prince Charles, as already mentioned, at Ben Alder, and from 
there the party, on the 14th September, moved to Corvoy, then 
to Altnacarrie, Glencanger, and Borrodale. On the 20th 
September they embarked on board a frigate that had been 
waiting for them, and sailed for France. John Roy never 
returned. The Rev. John Grant, in the old Statistical Account 
of Abernethy (1792) says that he died in 1752, and adds in his 
shrewd, pithy way— "By this means his talents were lost to 
himself and to his country. He had education without being 
educated ; his address and his figure showed his talents to great 
advantage. He was a good poet, in Gaelic and in English." 





Professor Creasy has a notable book on ** The Fifteen Decisive 
Battles of the World," from Marathon to Waterloo. None of 
those named by him were fought in Scotland, but we have had 
our decisire battles also, though they have been limited in their 
sphere and influence. Three may be mentioned. Bannockbum 
established the independence of the nation ; Harlaw settled the 
unity of the people; and Culloden fixed the succession to the 
Crown. There are some mistakes made as to Culloden, which 
may be noticed. It is often called a battle between the English 
and the Highlanders, but this is not correct. There were High- 
landers in both camps. The Campbells were as enthusiastic on 
the side of King George as the Camerons were on that of Prince 
Charlie. Besides, even clans were divided, some members being 
Royal and some Jacobite. The question at issue was really 
dynastic — ^Whether the Stewarts or the House of Hanover 
should hold the throne. Another mistake often made has regard 
to the condition of the contending forces. There was, in truth, 
nothing like equality. The Royalists had the advantage, not 
only in numbers, but in position and preparedness. They were 
well organised, well equipped, and well fed, whereas Prince 
Charlie's men were in all these respects woefully deficient. 
There is a tradition in the North that a council of the Highland 
Chiefs was held some time before the battle, when much dissatis- 
faction shewed itself. Suspicion of Lord George Murray was 
expressed, and strong words were spoken against him. Kepi>och 
swore that if he got leave he would have the head off the traitor, 
while others cried that he should be deposed, and Colonel Roy 
Stewart, the most capable and trusted officer in the army. 


appointed commander in his place. But nothing was done. 
It is known that Colonel Roy Stewart strongly urged that the 
passage of the Spey should be defended, and that he advised that 
the army should be withdrawn from Culloden to a stronger and 
more strategic position, where they might rest till the absent 
men had returned and they were reinforced by the Frasers and 
Macphersons, who were hastening to their support. Had this 
wise counsel been taken, the result might have been different. 
As it was, the Prince's army fought at great disadvantage, and 
from first to last they were ill-commanded on the fatal field. 
The fiery onslaught at the beginning was grand ; but, like the 
charge of the Lancers in the Valley of Death, though magni- 
ficent, it was not war The Duke's first line was swept away, 
but the second stood firm, and, before their steady fire and the 
storm of grape shot, the clansmen fell in hundreds. Courage 
and devotion were in vain against such odds. In a few minutes 
all was lost. The battle became a rout and a massacre, followed 
by butcheries and brutalities, which have covered the name of 
Cumberland with infamy. 

" There was no lack of bravery there. 

No spare of blood or breath, 
For, one to two, our foes we dared. 

For freedom or for death. 
The bitterness of grief is past. 

Of terror and dismay ; 
The die was risked, and foully cast 

Upon Culloden Day." 

It is well known that many of the Highlanders took part 
reluctantly in the rising of 1745. This held true of the Frasers. 
Old Lovat, though liked, was not trusted. He was thought to 
have more cunning than truth, and more ambition than principle. 
This view proved correct. Lovat died a traitor's death, and the 
light which has been since thrown upon his character shews 
that it is not without just cause that he has been classed in a 
recent book as one of the " Twelve Bad Men" of Britain. It is 


told of one of the Frasers, from the Aird, that he was going to 
Culloden with a heavy heart. When the fight drew on, he 
prayed earnestly, ** Good Lord, don't let me kill anyone this day, 
and don't let anyone kill me." Wliat he may have done when 
his blood was up is not known, but he himself escaped scatheless. 
His simple prayer was heard. Many high hopes were dashed at 
Drummossie, and many a brave young Donald who had followed 
his Prince with unselfish devotion met his doom on that fatal 
field. After the battle, one Highlander was found lying dead 
with his Gaelic Psalm-Book open in his hand, and a bloody 
mark at the 9th verse of the 44th Psalm. The words in the 
English version are, "Bui Thou hast cast off, and put us to 
shame, and goest not forth with our armies." The Gaelic 
expresses still more pathetically the wail of the dying High- 
lander :— 

** Ach rinn Thu nis ar tilgeadh dhiot, 
'S naraich Thusa sinn, 
'S mach le'r n'armailtibh, 's ar feachd 
Chan eil Thu fein dol leinn." 

The late John Maclean, Inverness, called the ** Centenarian," 
had seen this Psalm-Book. Mr Maclean was a member of the 
West Church, and much respected. He used to attend Church 
and take part in prayer meetings when he was over a hundred. 

Colonel John Roy Stewart, of Kincardine, had two nephews 
at Culloden — Donald and James. Donald, from being pock- 
pitted, called *' Donull breac," was a major in the French service. 
At Culloden he was severely wounded by a sabre-cut in the 
head, and fainted from loss of blood. While he was lying helpless 
one of Cumberland's troopers came past and made a grab at his 
powder-horn, which was very handsome, and hung by a massive 
silver chain. The chain got into the wound, but the trooper 
cared not. He was bent on plunder, not mercy, so he tugged 
away till he had secured the coveted spoil. But though he 
knew it not, he had saved Stewart's life. The shock roused htm 
from his swoon. By and by help came, and he was borne pff the 

STORIES 01? ClTl.l,ODEN. I Si 

field. . Being in the French service, he was treated with some 
consideration, and visitors were permitted to see him in prison. 
After a little, a plaid of the Campbell tartan was smuggled into 
his cell — it is said in ajar of butter — and by the connivance of 
friends he effected his escape. He made straight for Kincardine, 
where he was warmly welcomed. But he was still in danger. 
The red coats were scouring the country, and Kincardine, as the 
home of his uncle, John Roy, was being watched with special 
care. Major Donald therefore crossed the Spey, and took 
counsel with the good minister of Alvie, Mr Gordon. The 
minister was quick-witted and benevolent. He was about to 
start for Edinburgh to attend the General Assembly, and he took 
Stewart along with him, ostensibly as his Ruling Elder. From 
Edinburgh he made his way to I<eith, and from there he escaped 
to France. With other Jacobites, he passed many years of 
sorrowful exile at St Omers. The following extract from a letter 
written by Wm. Robertson, of Lude, to his father, dated 
"31st January, 1784," gives a touching glimpse of life at 
St Omers, and of the latter days of the old Jacobite :—*' Since 
my last I have got acquainted with several people, particularly 
a Mr Howard, cousin to Lord Carlisle, Mr Meadows, eldest 
brother of the General, my old Commander, and several others 
whose connections you may not have heard of But here, 
talking of acquaintances, I must not so slightly pass over two of 
my grandmother's friends — that is, gentlemen who were *out,' 
as they say here. They are both Stewarts, but Marquis Stewart, 
by his grave deportment and formal address, besides his greet 
alliances in Strathspey (which has the honour of his nativity), 
claims the precedency. The Marquis is a half-pay Captain in 
the French service, and has lived here for about thirty years in 
exactly the same routine. His hair in the morning being 
dressed in a methodical curl with a huge bag behind. The hat, 
as it were by instinct, finds its place on top. Then, slipping 
both hands into an antiquated mufiT, forth issues the great 
Marquis—on one side hangs the * Croise de St Louis,* from the 
opposite button dangles the necessary cane. It is well known the 



Marquis would rather be crucified than eat flesh of a Friday, and 
it is confidently reported that he shaves himself with thirteen 
different razors upon the same occasion, regularly paraded for 
that purpose. Had the Prince been King of Great Britain, the 


FrotH Photo.^ by the Rev. Mr Meldrnm^ Logierait^ c/ ^tn-and-ink skttch 

by Mr W. Robertson^ St. Om€rs—n84. 

Marquis was undoubtedly to have been Lord Chamberlain." 
Major Donald used to correspond with Mr John Stewart, 
Pytoulish (Kincardine), and in one of bis last letters he made 
kindly inquiries after old friends, such as George Smith, James 
M*Intyre, who had been *' out," like himself, in the '45. Of both 


these there are stories to tell. Colonel John Roy Stewart joined 
the Prince at Blair of AthoU. At Perth he found a detachment 
of the Scots Greys, in which he had served as Lieutenant and 
Quartermaster, and he induced some five or six of his old 
comrades to join the Prince's standard. One of these was George 
Smith, Croftmore, a farm in the Barony of Kincardine, the 
ancient heritage of John Roy's ancestors. Smith was noted for 
his strength and courage. After CuUoden he remained for 
a time in hiding, and then enlisted again in the Royal 
service. His regiment (the 89th Highland, Colonel Morris), 
was sent to India, and shortly after (1761) an inspection 
was held at Bombay. Smith stood in the front rank at 
the left hand. The Inspecting Officer came slowly along, and 
to Smith's horror he proved to be his old Captain of the Scots 
Greys. He said to himself, ** I am done for ; he will recognise 
me. challenge me as a deserter, and I shall be shot" Nearer 
and nearer came the officer, carefully scanning one after another 
of the men. At last he stood face to face with Smith. It was 
a terrible moment. The officer, as he dreaded, recognised him. 
Fire flashed from his eye, and he seemed about to denounce him ; 
but kinder feelings prevailed, and with a stem aside, " 1 know 
you, but you're in the right place again," he passed on. It was 
like life from the dead. Smith retired from the army with a 
pension. He lived at Kincardine to a great age. When he died 
he was said to be the oldest pensioner in the British Army. 
The late John Stewart, catechist, Abernethy, remembered him 
well, and it was from him the above story was obtained. John 
Stewart told another story of CuUoden which is worth recording. 
Lord Balmerino, after the battle, made his way to the Doune of 
Rothiemurchus. Here he had communings with the Laird, who 
advised him to give himself up. This he resolved to do, and 
forthwith set out for Castle Grant. When a little beyond the 
Church of Kincardine, he was overtaken by a messenger carrying 
his sword, which he had left behind. Balmerino thanked the 
man, and said, *' Take it back to the Doune, I have no further 


use for it." The words were omiuous. Balmerino surrendered 
to the Laird of Grant, and was by him handed over to the 
authorities at Inverness. Everyone knows the story of his trial 
and conviction, and the heroic fortitude with which he bore his 
cruel fate. " Fourteen Colours taken at CuUoden were brought 
to Edinburgh. On Wednesday, the 14th June, at noon, they 
were brought down to the Cross, Prince Charles* own standard 
carried by the hangman, and the rest by chimney-sweepers, 
escorted by a detachment of Lees' regiment. There, in the 
presence of the Sheriffs, and with great pomp of heralds and 
trumpeters, they were, by the command of the Duke, burned by 
the hands of the common hangman." The Colours of John Roy 
(Colonel of the Edinburgh regiment), the green flag of Kin- 
cardine, was saved from this foul indignity. It was brought 
from Culloden by its brave bearer, James M'Intyre, commonly 
called ** Fear ban Bheaglan,'' and cherished by him for long as a 
precious relic. Once every year, on the anniversary* of the 
raising of the Princess standard at Glenfillan, he used to take it 
to the top of Cairngorm, and there unfurl it with much pride. 
He wished, he said, to give it fresh air. When on his death-bed 
he sent for his friend, John Stewart, of Pytoulish, and gave it to 
him. saying, " John, I have sent for you thinking you are the 
fittest to take charge of what I myself got charge of 40 years ago. 
It is my dear John Roy's banner. That bravest of men gave it 
to me on the fatal, field of Culloden, with his command that 
nothing but death should separate us. I have kept it ever since, 
hoping long that its true owner might have use for it, and for me ; 
but I am now going the way of all flesh. I can do no more. I 
entreat you, as I have no children of my own, to come when I 
am gone and to take delivery of the dear flag from my wife, and 
I earnestly beg that you will treat it with all reverence and care 
as is due to the gallant soldier to whom it belonged." The old 
Colours, holed with balls and hacked by swords, dim and faded 
with age, was long preserved by Pytoulish, and before his death 
was presented by him, with other Jacobite relics, to the Duke of 




Gi^NMORK, as the name indicates, is a glen of more than 
ordinary size. It lies at the foot of Cairngorm, facing the west, 
and not only includes several miles of moorland and forest, but 
also g:reat stretches of the mountains on each side. From 
Abemethy it is entered by the romantic pass of the Green 
Loch, and from Kincardine by the Slugan of the Eas or 
waterfall, a ravine of about two miles in length, which, with 
its long sloping braes, its frowning cliffs, and its wealth of firs 
and birches, forms one of the finest passes in the Highlands. ' 
Glenmore may also be reached from Rothiemurchus by the road 
crossing the Druie at Coylum {Coimh-leum, the leaping together, 
i.e., of the Luinag and the Bennie, which meet a little above the 
bridge), and passing up by Ri-n-fhraoich where there is a mineral 
spring once largely frequented, and then along by the west side 
of Loch Morlich. The scenery is very grand. To the south- 
west are the Ord Bain, with Loch-an-Eilan ; then there are the 
woods of Rothiemurchus, the splendid cone of the lolarig, and 
the steep frowning glories of Glen Ennich and the Braeriachs. 
Further on there are the gloomy pass of the Larig-gru, and the 
stupendous precipices of Ben-mac-dui. On the eastern side are 
the hills of Tulloch, terminating in the massive Meall-bhuachaill, 
the herd's hill ; while in front, casting its shadows far and wide, 
is the lofty Cairngorm. Across the lower part of the glen 
stretches a great plain of firs, interspersed with glades and 
mosses, and here and there, shewing among the younger trees, 
huge pines— some standing, some fallen — the relics of ancient 
forests. The glen is well watered. The Altmore is the chief 
stream. It is fed from the west by the Caochan-dubh, and the 


burns that run from the Leacan, the Lochan, and the Snowy 
Corrie, and from the east by Allt-na-cisde, Allt-bitn, Caochan- 
ghuib, and the Peith-dhubh. 

The first glimpse we get of Glenmore is as a Royal Forest, 
but it was well known earlier as the hunting ground of the 
Stewarts of Kincardine. Robin Oig, son of one of the Barons, 
was famed as a hunter. Returning one day from the Glen, 
he met a parly of fairies on their march with pipers. The 
music was the finest he ever heard. He listened entranced. As 
they passed by he noticed that the pipes were of silver, sparkling 
with jewels. Throwing his bonnet among the little folks, with 
the cry, **Mine to you, yours to me," he snatched the pipes. 
The procession moved on, and the music pealed out sweeter 
than ever. Stewart hid his prize under his plaid and hurried 
home. But when he looked, lo ! he had nothing but a broken 
spike of grass and an empty puiT-ball ! By an Act of the Scottish 
Parliament, 1685, ratification was granted in favour of George 
Duke of Gordon, &c, "of all and haill the Marquisat, Earldome, 
and lordship of Huutlie." This Ratification, which was in 
effect a Crown Charter, comprehended the Forests of Badenoch 
and Kincardine, " with the haill rights, privileges, profits, and 
casualteys belonging to any fforest within the said kingdom." 
The lands of Kincardine appear to have been for some time in 
the hands of the Crown, and the Act contains a Resignation by 
Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, His Majesty's Advocate, to 
the Duke of Gordon, *'of all and haill the Barony of Kincardine, 
comprehending therein the particular towns, lands, fforests, 
milnes, woods, fishings, and other after specified." Glenmore is 
thus designated, no doubt, in the terms usual in such legal 
documents, "The Forest and Woods of Glenmore, Hills and 
Glens belonging thereto, with castles, towers, fortalices, manor 
places, houses, biggings, yards, orchards, woods parks, sheilings, 
gra.ssiugs, outsetts, insetts, tofts, crofts, parts, pendicles and 
pertinents thereof, and teynds, both parsonage and vicarage of 
the said Lands lying within the parochine of Kincardine and 


Sheri£fdome of Inverness." Later, we find the Glen occupied 
by several tacksmen and their dependents. In 1740 the following 
persons were designated by the Kirk-Session as in a condition to 
contribute to the relief of the poor, viz., John Stuart in 
Badyewish, John Stuart in Bochonich, George Grant of Tulloch- 
gorm for Beglan, William Davidson in Ri-aonachan, and James 
Stuart in Reluig. But besides these there were several other 
families of smaller tenants and cottars. The population during 
la.<%t century might be counted as about a hundred. Being so 
secluded, they must have lived rather a lonely life, especially in 
winter. But they had their diversions. Besides the incidents of 
births, deaths, and marriages, and the common work in the fields 
and woods, there were two things which must have helped to 
break the monotony of the months. One was tlie visits of raiders 
from Lochaber. The Thieves' Road traverses the glen, and now 
and again bands of raiders passed to and fro, bringing news of 
the outer world. Sometimes also there were fights between the 
Caterans and their pursuers, with exciting incidents which 
would furnish talk by the fireside during the long winter nights. 
Another interesting event was the visit of the parson. 

Glenmore is in the parish of Kincardine, and in the old time 
the minister of Abemethy had to serve both the Church of 
Abemethy and that of Kincardine, preaching in the latter every 
third Sunday. The people of the Glen attended Church well, 
though they had to walk from three to six miles. But besides 
the ordinary Sunday services, they were favoured occasionally 
with special services. The following entries, among others, 
occur in the Session Book : — ** Glenmore, July 13, 1740. — Lecture, 
Irish, in Matthew 6 and 19 to the end of the chapter. Collected 
for the poor, ;^o 4s 6d." " Glenmore, June 27, 1756. — Lecture in 
Irish, I Peter, chap. 2nd, from the beginning. Sermon in 
English. Psalm 73rd, verse 28th. Collected for poor, £0 4s od." 
It appears that meetings of Session were also sometimes held. 
"Glenmore, 8th July, 1753. — Lecture in Irish in the 2nd chap, 
of the Bphesians, first 12 verses. Sermon in English in the 


4th chap, of James, 8 v. Collected for the poor. £o 6s 6d. After 
prayer, met in Session with the minister, William Davidson, 
Pytoulish, John Stuart in TuUoch, James Grant in RichaiUeach, 
Elders; James Grant, Rinaitin, and Patrick Grant in Glen- 
more, Gentle," and dealt with a case of discipline. Again, 
30 June, 1754, a similar meeting was held, when Finlay Kennedy, 
servant to Patrick Grant, Ri-aonachan, was publicly rebuked 
before the congregation. In connection with this case, there is 
the following suggestive entr>': — "The Session appoints John 
Stuart, Treasurer, to give the Bill imposed upon Finlay Kennedy 
for his sin, to James Macdonald, who teaches some children at 
Kincardine, for his encouragement" Dora Wordsworth, in her 
delightful Notes on Travelling in the Highlands, shews how 
much these ministerial visits were appreciated. She says as to 
Glenfalloch, August 28th, 171 1: — "If it were not for these 
Sabbath day meetings, one summer month would be like another 
summer month, one winter month like another— detached from 
the goings on of the world, and solitary throughout ; from the 
time of earliest childhood they will be like landing places in the 
memory of a person who has passed his life in these thinly 
peopled regions." About the end of last century some important 
changes took place in Glenmore. Messrs Osbourne and Dods- 
worth purchased the woods from the Duke of Gordon, and for 
upwards of twenty years they employed a large staff of men in 
the cutting and manufacture of timber. It is said they spent 
;^70,ooo in the payment of labour alone. These were the years 
of plenty. But it was not all contentment. There were some 
who resented the intrusion of the Sassenach and the destiniction 
of the woods. Their hearts were in the past. One bard marked 
the changes with biting sarcasm - 

" Sud an gleannan rioghail fallainn, ann an fanadh Ian 


Mo mhollachd do na phannail, a cliuir thairis a bharrachd, 

*Nkite an cronan anns an doire gu farnimach mar babhaisd, 

*S es beus dhuinn nis anns gach baddan, Slachdarnis 



Which may be translated — 

'* Yonder's the little gleu kingly and sweet, haunt of the 

full-grown harts, 
My curse on the bands of men that have robbed it of its 

Now, instead of the song of birds and the murmur of the 

deer in the thicket, 
Our ears are stunned by the crash of falling trees and the 

clamours of the Sassenach." 

When the English company left things reverted to their old 
condition. The prosperity that had existed was but temporary. 
-According to the census of 1831 and 1841, there was a large 
falling-oflF in the population of Kincardine, and this was very 
marked in Glenmore. Shortly after the glen was converted into 
a sheep-run, and subsequently into a deer forest, and the people 
passed away for ever. It is no wonder if Glenmore, with its 
romantic scenery and legends, should have had a fascination for 
the poets. Hogg and Wilson refer to it, and Scott makes it the 
scene of *'The Bard's Incantation," composed, it is said, in the 
autumn of 1804, when making a wild ride through Ettrick, at a 
time when invasion by the French was threatened : — 

** The Forest of Glenmore is drear, 

It is all of black pine and the dark oak tree. 
And the midnight wind to the mountain deer 

Is whistling the forest lullaby. 
The moon looks through the drifting storm, 
But the troubled lake reflects not her form. 
For the waves roll whitening to the land, 
And dash against the shelvj*^ strand. 

" There is a voice among the trees 

That mingles with the groaning oak, 
That mingles with the stormj' breeze, 

And the lake waves dashing against the rock : 
There is a voice within the wood, 
The voice of the Bard in fitful mood, 
His song was louder than the blast 
As the Bard of Glenmore through the forest past^ 


*• Wake ye from your sleep of death, 
Minstrels and bards of other days ! 
For the midnight wind is on the heath, 

And the midnight meteors dimly blaze ; 
The Spectre with the Bloody Hand 
Is wandering through the wild woodland ; 
The owl and the raven are mute for dread, 
And the time is meet to awake the dead ! 

" Souls of the mighty, wake, and say 

To what high strain your harps were strung 
When Lochlin ploughed her billowy way, 
And on your shores her Norsemen flung ? 

•* O, yet awake, the strain to tell, 

By every deed in song enrolVd, 
By every chief who fought or fell 

For Albion's weal in battle bold. 
From Coilgach, first, who rolled his car 
Through the deep ranks of Roman war. 
To him, of veteran memory dear, 
Who, victor, died on Aboukir. 

** By all their swords, by all their scars, 
By all their names, a mighty spell ! 
By all their wounds, by all their wars, 

Arise the mighty strain to tell ! 
For, fiercer than fierce Hengist's strain. 
More impious than the heathen Dane, 
More grasping than all grasping Rome, 
Gaul's ravening legions hither come. 

"The wind is hush'd. and still the lake, 
Strange murmurs fill my tinkling ears. 

Bristles my hair, my sinews quake 
At the dread voice of other years. 

When targets clashed and bugles rung. 

And blades round warriors' heads were flung, 

The foremost of the band were we. 

And hymned the joys of liberty." 

" Would you wish to know what ia now the look of Qlenmore!" askB Christopher 
^orth. '*»One pow dead and gone — a man of wayward temper, but of geniuB— ehall 


tell you ; and think not the picture exaggerated, for you would not if you were 
there. ... It is the wreck of the ancient forest wliich arrests all the attention, 
and which renders Glenmore a melancholy — more than a melancholy— a terriOc 
spectacle. Trees of enormous height, which have escaped alike the axe and the 
tempest^ are still standing, stripped by the winds even of the bark, and like gigantic 
skeletons throwing far and wide their white and bleached bones to the storms and 
rains of heaven ; while others, broken by the violence of the gales, lift up then* split 
and fractured trunks in a thousand shapes of resistance and of destruction, or still 
display some knotted and tortuous branches stretched out in sturdy and fantastic 
forms of defiance to the whirlwind and tlie winter. Noble trunks also, which had 
long resisted, but resisted in vain, strew the ground ; some lying on the declivity 
where they had fallen, others still adhering to the precipice where they were rooted, 
many upturned, with their twisted and entangled roots high in the air, while not a 
few astonish us by tlie space which they cover and by dimensions which we could 
not otherwise have estimated. It is one wide image of death, as if the angel of 
destruction had passed over the valley. The sight, even of a felled tree, is painful ; 
still more is that of the fallen forest, with all its green branches on the ground« 
withering, silent, and at rest, where once they glittered in the dew and the sun, and 
trembled in the breeze. Yet this is but an image of vegetable death. It is familiar, 
and the impression passes away. It is the naked skeleton bleaching in the winds, 
the gigantic bones of the forest still erect, the speaking records of former life and of 
the strength still unsubdued, vigorous even in death, which renders Glenmore one 
enormous chamel house.*' 




The Massacre of Glencoe was one of the blackest crimes in 
Scottish history. It has stained the fair name of William III., 
and has covered the men who were directly concerned in the 
barbarous deed with infamy. Major Duncanson, under instruc- 
tions from his superior officers, issued the following order to 
Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, 12th February, 1692: — 
"You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebells, the Macdonalds 
of Glencoe, and put all to the sword under seventy." Let Scott 
describe the result ;— 

** The hand that mingled in the meal, 
At midnight drew the ielon steel, 
And gave the host's kind breast to feel 

Meed for his hospitality ! 
The friendly hearth which warm'd that hand 
At midnight arm'd it with the brand. 
That bade destruction's flames expand 

Their red and fearful blazonry. 
Then woman's shriek was heard in vain, 
Nor infancy's unpitied plain, 
More than the warrior's groan, could gain 

Respite from ruthless butchery I 
The winter wind that whistled shrill. 
The snows that night that cloked the hill. 
Though wild and pitiless, had still 

Far more than Southron clemency." 

But there was one man who, to his infinite credit, kept him- 
self clear from complicity in these horrid barbarities. Robert 
Stewart, of the house of Fincastle, was a subaltern in Argyll's 
Regiment. Being a man of known ability and courage, he was 
phosen ^ one of those to go to Glencoe, but when he understood 






















what he should have to do, he refused to take part in the work. 
He was urged and threatened, but he would not consent, and in 
the end he threw up his commission and fled to the North. The 
Duke of Gk)rdon gave him protection, and as he could not make 
him an officer, he appointed him keeper of his Forest in Glen- 
more. This was a position of some importance in those days, 
and the salary and advantages were considerable. In an Act of 
James VI. as to Forest Law, it is declared of Keepers of Forests 
that they should have power and jurisdiction to convene before 
them the transgressors of said statutes, and to try them by an 
inquest, and to execute the said Acts against them, to wit, the 
**slayers and shooters of Deer, Roe, and Wild Fowl, being landed 
men, under the pain of five hundred merks, and being unlanded, 
a hundred merks, &c." Robert Stewart married, and had a large 
family. Five of his daughters became wives of respectable 
tacksmen in the district. He is said to have lived to be over a 
hundred. The accompanying certificate, given to him by the Kirk- 
Session, and attested by the civil authority, marks his character 
and worth. Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son James. He 
was well-educated, shrewd, and capable, and was able to save 
money. His neighbours, seeing how much better oflF he was 
than they were, jumped to the conclusion that he had found a 
"treasure." The story was that a certain man called "The 
Claddach" had dreamed of a pot of gold hidden under a marked 
stone ; that he told his dream to Stewart, who laughed, and said, 
"Who minds a dream ?" But he himself quietly sought the stone, 
and secured the treasure. In reality Stewart owed his success 
to his own thrift and industry. It is curious how much simi- 
larity there is in these stories, indicating probably a common 
origin in the Hast. Grimm tells of a man who dreamt that if he 
went to a certain bridge, and waited there, he would become 
rich. He went day after day, but nothing happened. At last he 
met a merchant, who asked him what he was looking for. He 
told his story. The merchant said, " Dreams are but froth ; I, 
too, dreamed that under yonder tree lay a kettle full of gold, but 



who minds such things/* The man said nothing, but at night 
he dug under the tree and found the treasure. Stewart's 'ifc 
was Christian Robertson, by whom he had three sons and one 
daughter. His daughter Mar>' married Stewart, Knock, 
the representative of the Barons, and he gave her a tocher of 
;^ioo, a considerable sum in these days. He and his sons were 
great favourites of the Gordons, and before his death he saw 
them in possession of the three choicest farms in Kincardine — 
John at Pytoulish, Charles at Knock, and Patrick at Achgourish. 
In his last years he was well known in Strathspey and Badenoch 
as the " Fear Liath^' from his venerable appearance and long 
white beard. In the old Statistical Account, he is thus referred 
to: — "James Stewart, Keeper of the Duke of Gordon's Forests 
and Game, is 93 years of age, a blooming, correct, sensible man, 
and comes to Church the coldest day in winter." Stewart died 
on Christmas day, 1795. He was crossing the Altmore to visit 
his son, when his foot slipped on an ice-covered block, and the 
fall caused his death. By his will, executed 24th September, 
1795, he left the sum of 400 merks for the poor of the Barony, 
the interest of which was paid for some years by his son, and on 
his death the principal was handed over to the Kirk-Session. 
In 1846, the money, then amounting to ^70, was, under a mistake, 
transferred to the Parochial Board, and so while the ratepayers 
benefited in an infinitesimal way for the year, the poor of Kin- 
cardine lost their rights for ever, 

John Stewart, Pytoulish, was one of the finest-looking men 
on Speyside. He was said to resemble his grandfather, who, 
according to tradition, was counted the third best man in the 
North Highlands. He was both a great hunter and a great 
fisher. In the valuation of Kincardine, he is entered as holding 
Pitgaldish and Clachglas, at a rent of ;f 20 3s id ; the mill at £2 17s 
9d, and the salmon fishing of Pollmarstack at £2 4s 5d. His 
brother Charles had Knock and Riluig at ;^i9 12s, and his father 
(to whom succeeded his brother Charles), had Achgourish at £\\ 
8s. Miltown, Lag of Clune, Croftmore, Bellimore, Pitvemie, an4 


Ciilrannach, Lynmore, and Riaonachan, comprehending also 
Belnapool, Culvardy, Badyuish, Buchonich, Beglans. and Quarter 
Kern, were possessed by Messrs Dodsworth and Osbourne at a 
rent of £(i'] los. The whole valued rent of Kincardine was 
^^125 13s 2d, making the teind only £2^ 2S jd. But the deer 
forest appears to have been left out of the valuation. John 
Stewart was a J.P., and in 1797 Sir James Grant; of Grant 
appointed him a Deputy Lieutenant of Invemess-shire, an 
honour rarely conferred save on large landed proprietors. He 
was present at the grand reception given by the Marquis of 
Huntly to Prince Leopold in 18 19, and was introduced to the 
Prince by the Marquis as an old rebel Pytoulish replied that if 
he was a rebel, there might be doubt as to the loyalty of his 
Grace himself, as he had always been his faithful follower. His 
grand-daughter, Miss Mackintosh of the Dell, Rothiemurchus, 
was also a guest at Kinrara, 7th September. The Spey was in 
high flood at the time, and it was with much diflSculty that she 
and some friends were able to cross at the Doune ford. The 
next day Prince Leopold made a visit to Rothiemurchus, and 
called at the Dell, when he asked specially to see Miss Mackin- 
tosh, the young lady who had risked her life to attend the ball. 
There was an English visitor at Kinrara, who was very ambitious 
to kill a stag. He spoke to the Marquis of Huntly, who said, 
" O, you must see Pytoulish as to that" He answered that if he 
had the Marquis's permission he would take Stewart in his own 
hand. The Marquis said, " You may try, but I'm mistaken if 
you don't repent it" The Englishman set out to Glenmore, 
where he met Pytoulish, who at once challenged him. He 
replied rather haughtily, "What is that to you? I come from 
Kinrara." "If you do," said Pytoulish, "you will have a 
letter from the Marquis." "No, he had no letter." "Then. 
if you have no letter, you have no right to be here, and 
must give up your gun." He refused, but in a moment 
Pytoulish had him on his back in the heather, and took his 
gun from him. He went back with an angry complaint, but 


the Marquis only laughed, and said, ** Did I not tell you how it 
would be?" Pytoulish\s marriage was quite a romance. Mar>- 
Grant of Kiuchirdy, g. great-grand-daughter of Mungo, fifth son 
of the Laird of Grant, was a wnsome young lady, and had many 
wooers. The parson of Abemethy was a suitor, and was said to 
be favoured by her father, but the lady herself leaned towards 
the gallant Highlander. The parson had been preaching at 
Kincardine, and stopped overnight at Kinchirdy. He was 
roused by some stir in the moniing, and, looking out at the 
window, he was surprised to see what seemed a wedding party 
passing up the other side of the Spey. The secret was that 
Pytoulish had carried off the young lady. At the ford he and 
his brother made a king's chair, with their hands locked, and 
bore her safely across. The parson of Duthil was in the 
secret, and the marriage took place at once. This sort of 
marriage was not uncommon in the Highlands in the old 
time. Pytoulish had one son and two daughters. His 
son, Robert, entered the army, and died in the West 
Indies. There was some mysterj- about his death, and his 
father long hoped against hope that he would reappear. The 
eldest daughter, Margaret, married Duncan Mackintosh, Dell, 
factor to Rothiemurchus, who was of the sept of Mackintoshes, 
called Sliochd-a-ghobhainn Chndm, the race of the bandy 
Smith. His other daughter, Mar>% married Lieut. James 
Stewart, of the 78th Highlanders. Charles Stewart, Pytoulish's 
brother, also married, and two of his sons served with 
distinction in the Peninsular war. Alexander was a Lieu- 
tenant in the 42nd Highlanders. At the siege of Burgos he 
led one of the forlorn hopes. When the party reached the 
breach Stewart waved his sword, and calling out LHa leinn^ 
God with us, the famous watchword of Gustavus Adolphus, he 
dashed forward. His comrades were almost all killed, but he 
escaped with a severe wound. John rose to the rank of Captain 
in the 53rd Regiment, and retired on half-pay. He was called 
the oichear mbr, the big officer, from his great size. It was said 


he had no equal in Strathspey for strength. There are two 
boulders that lie near the gate of Achernack, Clachan ncart, 
which were used as tests of strength. One man out of ten might 
lift the smaller over the dyke, but not one in a thousand could 
do this with the other. The big officer could toss them both 
over, one after the other, with ease ! Pytoulish lived to a great 
age. The last j^ear of his life he made a pilgrimage to Glenmore, 
where he had lived so long, and which he loved so well. He 
reached Sithan-dubh-da-choimhead^ the Sithan of the double 
outlook, above the Green Loch, by sunrise, and after spending 
some time looking before and after, he came to Ri-luig to 
breakfast Then taking the south side of Loch Morlich, passing 
the Rabhag, the Osprey's tree, and the Black banks where he 
had often fished, he crossed the Luinag at the Sluce and made 
his way slowly home. Some months after he died. He and his 
wife were interred in the church-yard of Kincardine, where the 
Stewarts of the Barony and of Clachglas also lie. The Stewarts 
of Glenmore were, for their time, well educated. There is an 
Inventory extant of the contents of the Repositories of James 
Stewart, Achgourish, dated 15th Januar>% 1796, which not only 
shews that he was a man of some means, but which also bears 
the signatures, along with that of the Rev. John Grant and 
others, of his three sons, all written in a clear good hand. ^ 

* See Appendix, Note 10. 




Thk "York Buildings Company'* were remarkable for enter- 
prise and daring. They took in hand the raising of the Thames 
water for London, and engaged in various other great schemes. 
How they came to Speyside is hard to say. Two hundred years 
ago Abemethy and Strathdown must have been as little known 
in London as Lapland and Kamskatca. The probability is that 
the adventure was due to Aaron Hill, the poet. He had travelled 
much, had written many books, and held a good place in London 
society. Besides, he was well known for his " sanguine belief 
in his own gifts, both for literature and speculation." In 1713 
he had a scheme as to the wool trade. In 1718 he started a 
colony in Georgia, and he had a share in various other enter- 
prises. Probably he had seen the report by Captain John 
Mason, who had a lease of the Woods of Abemethy for 40 years, 
to the Commissioners of the Navy in 1704 as to the size and 
quality of the trees in Abemethy as "likeliest to ser\*e His 
Majesty's Government." Perhaps he may have met the Laird of 
Grant in London or Edinburgh, and heard from him of the vast 
resources of his country, and the possibilities of fortune-making 
in these fields and pastures new. At anyrate, he seems to have 
come north in 1726, and to have reported so favourably to 
Colonel Horsey and the "York Buildings Company" that they 
were induced to enter upon the scheme. In 1728 they obtained 
Royal Licence " to trade in goods, wares, and merchandise of 
the growth and produce of that part of the kingdom." Their 
first object was wood manufactures. By an indenture dated 
5th January, 1728, between James Grant of Grant, Esq. (after- 
wards Sir James Grant, Bart.), on the one hand, and the 


Governors and Company of Undertakers for Raising Thames 
Water in York Buildings on the other, James Grant, Esq., 
sold 60,000 fir trees of the best and choicest of the fir woods 
besouth the River Spey, belonging in property to the said James 
Grant, and lying in the united parishes of Abemethy and 
Kincardine, with power to them to cut, sell, transport, and to 
their own use and behoof, apply the said trees at their own 
charge and risque "within 17 years, and that every tree wounded 
by them shall be deemed one of the number hereby sold." . . 
They were to have free entry, and to be protected by the Baron 
Bailies " from every manner of insult, oppression, theft, bad 
usage, to the utmost of their power." No other person or 
persons were to be allowed to cut any of the said fir woods, 
"except for the upholding Tenements Houses, and labouring 
the ground according to the use of the country and for upholding 
the Duke of Gordon's Dwelling-houses, according to the tenor 
and conditions of the infeftments by his Grace to the family of 
Grant" The price was £7000 sterling, to be paid in instalments, 
the first ;^iooo on or before August, 1729. The Company further 
obtained use of the sawmills upon the Nethy, with leave to build as 
many more as they might deem necessar>'. They had also a Tack of 
Coulnakyle, with the mains and meadows, at a rent of £25 yearly. 
All diflFerences and disputes were to be referred to Robert Grant 
of Lurg as oversman. But more than this, and to make all sure, 
a bond was given by Colonel Samuel Horsey, of Mortclach, and 
John Ewer, of the parish of St Martin's, Westminster, goldsmith, 
by which they bound themselves to pay the penal sum of ;^i4,750 
failing the fulfilment of the deed. And all this was done regularly 
in the Scotch form. The company duly took possession. They 
made a brave start. Could we look in upon the gentlemen at 
Coulnakyle in the autumn of 1728 we should find them in the 
highest spirits. The Laird of Grant has been most hospitable. 
They have found the people of the countr>' friendly, and ready to 
help them in their enterprises. Even the Duke of Gordon has 
not forgotten them. He sent an order to Robert Stewart, his 


forester in Glenmore, to supply them with a stag, and this has 
been done. We may imagine Colonel Horsey and his friends at 
table, with Captain Burt as one of the guests. Aaron Hill may 
have improved the occasion, after the manner of Goldsmith— 

*' Thanks, dear Duke, for your venison, for finer or fatter 
Never roamed in a forest or smoked on a platter." 

Ivxcitcd by the good fare, and the accompanying viands, they 
would talk with much confidence of their schemes and prospects. 
Hill would quote his own lines : — 

'* High on the mountains of her northern shore 
The gummy pine shall shed her pitchy store; 
Tall firs, which useless have long ages grown. 
Shall freight the seas and visit lands unknown, 
Till the check'd sons of Norway's timbered State 
Learn love by force, while we disarm their hate." 

lie would also hint at ** subterranean riches" rivalling those of 
Mexico and Peru. So sanguine was he that, with the bright 
fancy and hopes of a poet, he used to date his letters to his wife 
from the ** Golden Groves of Abernethy." But Burt, who was of a 
more practical matter of fact turn, was not so confident. He would 
suggest caution and enquiry. In his letters, he says — ** None of 
them (the trees) will pay, for felling and removing over rocks, 
bogs, and precipices, and conveyance by rocky rivers, except 
such as are near the sea coast, as I believe the York Building 
Company will find in the conclusion" — (Vol. I., 283). Colonel 
Horsey and Aaron Hill were not satisfied with the manufacture 
of wood. They heard that in the Hills of Strathdown iron was 
to be found, and they conceived a giand scheme for turning this 
to profit. There was iron in the I^echt, but no wood. At 
Abernethy there was wood, but no iron. Why not bring them 
together ? And this was what was done. Works were erected 
on the Nethy, smelting furnaces at Balnagown, and a mill for 
forging and other purposes higher up, near Causair, where the 
foundation beams, with their cross^bindings and broad-headed 


iron nails, may still be seen in the bed of the river. Houses also 
were built for the workmen, with pleasant gardens, on the 
Straanmore. Some scores of men, with 120 horses (*'garrons'*), 
were employed in carrying the iron ore in panniers from the 
hills of the Lecht, beyond Tomintoul, and many others were 
engaged in driving wood and working the mills. Pillars, 9 ft. and 
16 ft. long, were cast, some marked with a cross and date 1730, 
others with the letters Dmj. Lund, and heaps of pig iron were 
prepared for exportation. Other enterprises of a similar kind at 
Poolewe, in Ross-shire, and at Glengarry, Inverness-shire, had 
failed, but it was hoped that the Abemethy works would be a 
great success. The manufacture and export of wood went on, 
for a time, at a great rate. Aaron Hill, with his inventive 
mind, effected a great improvement in the mode of floating 
timber on the Spey. Instead of the clumsy and dangerous way 
of guiding the raft by means of a **curragh" (wicker boat covered 
with skins holding one person), he brought into use solidly-built 
rafts, managed by two men, with long oars, one sitting at each 
end. The following quotation from a case in the Court of 
Session, 1784, gives a fair account of the proceedings of the 
Company: — **This operation upon Sir James Grant's woods was 
considered as a matter of such publick concern that the Company 
applied for and obtained a premium by Act of Parliament for 
furnishing masts and other timber of such dimensions as were 
not to be found in any other part of Great Britain. The York 
Building Company finding this part of Sir James Grant's Estate 
a most eligible situation for carrying on other articles of trade 
and commerce, they erected a furnace for casting iron and 
several forges for making it fit for the uses of the country and 
for exportation. They made into charcoal immense quantities 
of wood, which was used in their furnaces and forges. In short, 
they carried on works in this part of the country to such extent 
and magnitude that they sent from England a gentleman of tlic 
name of Stephens (of that rank and condition in life that he had 
been in Parliament), with a suitable salary for superintending 


the works. He acted as their agent and chief manager, and 
such was the credit and influence of the Company, at least for 
some years, that the notes of hand of this Mr Stephens passed 
for cash, just as current as the notes of the Bank of Scotland or 
Royal Bank do at this day." 

But although there was great activity and lavish expenditure 
of money, the Company were unable to fulfil their engagements. 
Rents were not paid, debts and difficulties increased, and at last 
there was a complete collapse. The Rev. John Grant says 
in the old Statistical Account: — ** Their extravagances of 
every kind ruined themselves and corrupted others. They used 
to display their vanity by bonfires, tar barrels, and opening 
hogsheads of brandy to the country people, by whicli five of 
them died in one night. They had a Commissary for pro- 
visions and forage at a handsome salary ; and in the end went 
off in debt to the proprietors and the country. But yet their 
coming to the country was beneficial in many respects, for 
besides the knowledge and skill which were acquired from them 
they made many useful and lasting improvements. They made 
roads through the woods. They erected proper sawmills. They 
invented the construction of the raft, as it is at present, and cut 
a passage through a rock in Spey, without which floating to any 
extent could never be attempted." In 1735. Sir James Grant of 
Grant raised an action in the Court of Session against Solomon 
Ashley, Esq., Governor of the York Building Company, and 
others. The summons is dated and signetted 13th July, 1735; 
Islay Campbell Advocate for the Complainers, and Patrick 
Hamilton Advocate for the Defenders. Decreet of Homing was 
issued in 1740. The case dragged on, but no decided advantage 
seems to have been obtained. In 1780 the claim was renewed 
by Sir James Grant of Grant, as against Mr^ Martha Grove and 
others, creditors of the York Buildings Company, but this action 
also seems to have come to nothing. A hundred 5ears have 
passed, and what remains? Colonel Horsey and his allies 
are forgotten. Aaron Hill,^ though he wrote much, is only 
' See Appendix, Note 1 1. 


remembered as one of the poets satirised by Pope in the 
Dunciad, and as the author of the famous epigram :— 

** Tender-hearted stroke a nettle, 

And it stings you for your pains, 
Grasp it like a man of mettle. 

And it soft as silk remains. 
'Tis the same with common natures, 

Use them kindly they rebel, 
But be rough as nutmeg grater. 

And the rogues obey you well." 

These lines are said to have been written with a diamond on 
a window pane in a border inn on one of his excursions to 
Scotland. Probably they express his experiences in dealing 
with the men of Abernethy. Hill must have been fond of the 
"nettle," for he has another epigram addressed to a lady, in 
which it is introduced. 

** Revenge, you see, is sure though sometimes slow. 
Take this — 'Tis all the pain I'd have you know. 
There's odds enough yet left betwixt our smart, 
I sting your finger, and you sting my hearts 

It may be also noted that Aaron Hill was one of the first to 
call attention to Gaelic poetry. His ** Ronald and Dorna," by a 
Highlander to his mistress, is marked ** From the Gaelic." 
And what of the works ? As Edie Ochiltree asked, ** And a' the 
bonny engines, and wheels, and the coves and sheughs doun at 
Glen Witherskins yonder, what's to come o' them ?" As at Glen 
Witherskins, so at Abernethy, there was scattering and plunder- 
ing. Where once there were the rush of waters, and the roaring 
of furnaces, the clanging of hammers, and the stress and bustle 
of a vast enterprise, there is now silence. The only remains of 
the great Company are the foundations of the mills, the empty 
watercourse, some beams and pillars of cast-iron at the Dell and 
Nethy-Bridge, and the spring at Aldersydc that bears the name 
of John Crowley. 




The things we are accustomed to we do not appreciate as we 
ought. What comes without effort is accepted without thought. 
Thus it is with our roads ; we take them as we do our common 
mercies. It is hard to imagine a time when things were other- 
wise—when in the Highlands there were not only no railways 
or telegraph wires, but no stage-coaches, no carriages, no roads ; 
and when travel from place to place was difficult and even 
dangerous. Cockburn, in his ** Memorials," tells of the dis- 
comforts in his day ; and Lord Lovat, of the '45, gives an 
amusing description of a journey south from the Aird, and of 
the breakdowns and the mishaps by the way. He says : — ** I 
brought my wheel-wright with me the length of Aviemore, in 
case of accidents, and there 1 parted with him, because he 
declared my chariot would go safe enough to London ; but I 
was not eight miles from the place, when on the plain road, the 
axle-tree of the hind-wheels broke in two, so that my girles 
were forced to go on bare horses behind footmen, and 1 was 
obliged to ride myself, tho' I was very tender, and the day ver>' 
cold (31 July). I came with that equipage to Ruthven late at 
night, and my chariot was pulled there by force of men, where 
I got an English Wheel-wright and a Smith, who wrought two 
days mending my chariot ; and after paying ver>' dear for their 
work, and for my quarters two nights, I was not gone four miles 
from Ruthven, when it broke again, so that I was in a miserable 
condition till I came to Dalnaceardacli." Here repairs were 
again made, but at the hill of Drutnniond further trouble arose. 
This time the fore-axle-tree gave way, and ** wriglits and carts 
and smiths** had to be brought to the assistance of the unfor- 


tunate travellers. Drumiiachdar was then as hard to cross as 
the Alps. 

The Rouiaiis were the great road-makers. Their roads started 
from the golden pillar in the Forum ^t Rome, "traversed Italy, 
pervaded the provinces, and were terminated only by the frontiers 
of the Empire." Gibbon says : — ** The public roads were accur- 
ately divided by milestones, and ran in a direct line from one 
city to another, with very little respect for obstacles, either of 
nature, or of private propeity/' ..." They united the 
subjects of the most distant provinces by an easy and familiar 
intercourse, but their primary object had been to facilitate the 
marching of the legions, nor was any country considered as 
completely subdued till it had been rendered in all its parts 
pervious to the arms and the authority of the Conqueror." The 
Appian Way, made by Appius Claudius, A.U. 441, was called the 
"Queen of Roads." The Romans made roads through England 
and the south of Scotland ; and they are said to have even 
penetrated to the far north. In our parish, on the line from 
Braemar to Burghead, there are traces here and there, as at 
Lynbreck and Congash, of what are marked in the Ordnance 
Maps as Roman roads. But it is very doubtful if the Romans 
had anything to do with them. They are more likely to have 
been old cattle tracks, or roads made by the Church. In the 
Reg. Moraviense, mention is made of the "Via Regia" in the 
time of Alexander II., 1236 ; and again, in 1253, there is refer- 
ence to the road running from the Standing Stones, at Pinlarig, 
to Findhorn. Cosmo Innes says that more progress was made 
in Scotland in the reigns of Alexander II. and Alexander III. 
than till the Union of 1707. The Via Regia is often referred 
to in charters, with the right of way and pasturage that pertained 
to it, and there seems to be a trace of it in the old road at 
TuUoch, south of Staor-na-mannach, which is still called Raihad 
an Righ, "The King's Road." In road improvements England 
was before Scotland, and the south of Scotland before the north, 
fhe first ^reat advance in the Highlands was made by General 


Wade. Great trunk lines, with branches in different directions, 
were executed by him. By 1770, it is said, he had made some 
800 miles of roads, and about 1000 bridges. His plan was to go 
right on, up hill and down dale, with as little deviation as 
possible. In travelling from Blair Athol to Kingussie it is 
possible at some points to mark the old and the new roads. 
Wade's roads, with his round arched bridges, may be seen well 
up on the hill. Lower down is the coach road, made by the 
Commissioners of Highland Roads and Bridges, winding along 
the glen, while the Highland Railway holds on its course, some- 
times on the same side of the glen and sometimes on the other. 
The road from Castleton to the coast, made by Wade, passes 
through our parish ; and interesting bits, with remains of bridges, 
may be seen between Dirdow and Gran town. The bridge over 
the Spey is one of Wade's bridges. Originally it had the usual 
steep fall at the north side, but the road having been raised to 
the level of the arch, the peculiarity is not now so perceptible. 
At the Abernethy .end stands a slab, partly mutilated, with the 
following inscription:—*' A.D. 1754. 5 Companies of the 33rd 
Regiment, Honourable Lord Charles Hay, Colonel. Finished." 
This bridge suffered from the great flood of 1829 (cf. Lauder). 
The new roads were not at first popular. Both chiefs and 
clansmen disliked them. Tennant says : — ** These publick works 
were at first very disagreeable to the old Chieflains, and lessened 
their influence greatly ; for by admitting strangers among them, 
their Clans were taught that the Lairds were not the first of 
men." Buckle, in his '* History of Civilisation," speaks to the 
same effect : — ** Roads were cut through their country, and for 
the first time travellers from the South began to mingle with 
them, in their hitherto inaccessible wilds." The people, on the 
other hand, not only complained that they brought in strangers, 
but that they broke up their old customs. They said that the 
rough, stony ways were not suited to their unshod horses, and 
that they preferred the grass and the heather. It is curious to 
find objections of the same sort rife in Asia Minor in the present 


day. Professor Ramsay says : — " The surface of the new roads 
is not suitable for the feet of the animals, which carry goods, for 
the small, loose stones annoy them. Hence the Muleteers prefer 
the old narrow tracks, which are better adapted to the animals' 
feet." In a work on the Highlands, by the Rev. Alexander 
Irvine, of Rannoch, 1802, we have a statement which strikingly 
illustrates the old state of things : — 

** The Braes of Perth and luvernefis shires have no communication ; hence in 
winter many lives are lost. . . . You would think that, like the ancient bar- 
barians of the north of Europe, the Highlanders delighted in being separated by 
frightful deserts. A person is astonished to see the natives scrambling with beasts 
of burden (there are no cirts) over precipices that would frighten a stranger. It 
will require a day to travel over those rugged surfaces only 12 miles by any person 
but a native. The common rate is at a mile an hour. From Inverness to the Point 
of Kintail what a road ! if it can be so called, for it is hardly agreed upon by 
travellers which is the line, ever)^ one making one for himself. If you croes over to 
the islands you are every moment in danger of straying or perishing. The iiaths, 
such as they are, take such oblique and whimsical directions, not even excepting 
Qeneral Wade's roads across the Grampians, that they seem hardly to have been 
drawn by rational beings. Our sheep follow better lines ; they tread round the side 
of the hill, and when they ascend or descend they select the easiest and safest track. 
I suppose the Highland roads in general liave remained in those perplexities and 
curvations which they had when the boar and the wolf contended with the natives 
for their possessions, and when each tribe triw^ the wary maze, to attack, or escape 
the incursions of, one another." 

After General Wade, the great road-makers were Telford and 
Mitchell. Southey, after referring to Telford's grand work of 
bridging the Meuai Straits — 

" Structure of more ambitious enterprise 
Than minstrel in the age of old romance 
To their own Merlin's magic lore ascribed," 

goes on to describe his achievements in his own native land : — 

** Where his roads, 
In beautiful and sinuous line far seen, 
Wind with the vale, and win the long ascent. 
Now o'er the deep morass sustained, and now 
Opening a passage through the wilds subdued." 


It was by Ttrlfoni thai the pre^nt bridge at Abemethy, which 
came in place of the oM bri«l>:e higher ap, and the new road to 
Boat of Garten, was Ue>ignol. Much was done by the Lairds of 
Grant for the imp>rovemrnt of the parish roads. It is said that 
in Sir James's time 130 miles of new roads were made, and the 
good work, under the Pari-»h Council, is still being carried on. 
In the beginning of the centur\\ Gran town bridge was the only 
one between the two Craigellachies ; now, counting the railway 
bridges, there are nine bridges in this district spanning the 
Spey. The Highland and Speyside Railways were opened in 
1S63. If roads and bridges form an important factor in the 
ci\-ilisation of a countr>% much more may this be said of railway's. 
The benefits they have conferred are incalculable. One signal 
advantage is the influx of " summer visitors," who leave much 
money in the countr>% and whose kindly intercourse with the 
people, and generous help of the poor and necdj-, deser\'e 
grateful acknowledgment. 

*' Ha ! we start the ancient stillness. 
Swinging down the long incline ; 
Over Spey, by Rothiemurchus, 
Forests of primeval pine. 

" * Boar of Badenoch,' ' Sow of Athole,* 
Hill by hill behind we cast; 
Rock and craig and moorland reeling. 
Scarce Craig- EUachie stands fast 

** Dark Glenmore and cloven Glen Feshie, 
Loud along these desolate tracts. 
Hear the shrieking whistle louder 
Than their headlong cataracts. 

•• On, still on — let drear Ctilloden, 
For Clan-slogans hear the scream ; 
Shake— ye woods by Beauly river ; 
Start, thou beaut>'-haunted Dhraim. 

•' Northward still the iron-horses ! 

Naught may stay their destined path, 
Till they snort by Pentland surges. 
Stem the cliffs of far Cape Wrath. 


" Must then pass, quite disappearing, 
From their glens the ancient Gael ? 
In and in, must Saxon struggle ? 
Southron, Cockney more prevail ? 

" Clans long gone, and pibrochs going. 
Shall the patriarchal tongue, 
From these mountains fade for ever, 
With its names and memories hung ? 

** Oh I you say, it little recketh,— 
Let the ancient manners go, 
Heaven will work, through their destroying, 
Some end greater than you know ! 

" Be it so ! but will Invention, 

With her smooth mechanic arts, 
Raise, when gone, the old Highland warriors, 
Bring again warm Highland hearts ? 

** Nay ! whatever of good they herald, 
Whereso' comes that hideous roar, 
The old charm is disenchanted, 
The old Highlands are no more ! 

** Yet, I know, there lie, all lonely, 

Still to feed thought's loftiest mood, 
Countless glens, undesecrated, 
Many an awful solitude ! 

** Many a burn, in unknown corries, 

Down dark linns the white foam flings, 
Fringed with ruddy-berried rowans, 
Fed from everlasting springs. 

** Still there sleep unnumber'd lochans 
Craig-begirt 'mid deserts dumb, 
Where no human road yet travels. 
Never tourist's foot hath come ! 

" If e*en these should fail, I'll get me 
To some rock roar'd round by seas, 
There to drink calm nature's freedom 
Till they bridge the Hebrides." 

— ** A Cry from Craigellachie^^ by the late Prof, Shairp, 
•• Odds and Ends;' 1866. 






Thb caterans were the thieves that came from the hills. They 
had their home in the Central Highlands, from whence they 
made raids in all directions on their richer neighbours. They 
are often referred to in Acts of Parliament. As far back as 1389 
there is an Act — ** Contra omnes malefactores viros, Kethranicos, 
Slc.*' The Litany of Dunkeld is said to contain the following 
clause — "A cateranis, et latronibus, a lupis, et omnia mala 
bestia, Domine libera nos," where the caterans are put first, as 
more to be dreaded than either wolves and other wild beasts! 
In legal phraseology they are variously designated as loons> 
robbers, rievers, somers, Hieland thieves, and in one signal 
case the band is graphically described as ** ane infamous byke of 
lawless lymmars." The following extract is from a precept to 
Sir John Grant, 1635 :— " That there is a number of disordered 
and broken lymmars of the Hielanders that of late hes brokin 
louse, and in troupes and companies comes down to the 
in-countrie and to other parts and bounds nesrt adjacent to the 
Hielands, where they have committed cruill and barbarous 
murders, and slaughters and manie stouthes, reiflfe, heirships, 
and deprivations upon our peaceable and good subjects." There 
had been complaint of the slackness of the Laird in dealing with 
the Macgregors and other raiders, and he had excused himself 
on the ground that he had no proper commission, but this was 
now supplied, with cauiion "to follow and pursue thame with 
fire and sword." There were great differences among the 
caterans. The bulk of them were simply thieves, but there 
were amongst them men of a higher stamp, who, though they 


would have scorned to take part in common theft, held it no 
crime to make reprisals on their foes, or to replenish their folds 
and coffers by plundering their enemies. What I^yden says of 
the Border moss- troopers might be applied to the caterans — 

** Here fixed his mountain home, a wide domain, 
And rich the soil had purple heath been grain ; 
But what the niggard ground of wealth denied 
From fields more bless'd his fearless arm supplied." 

Mr Lorimer, in his notes, has some curious remarks in defence 
of spreachs. He imagines the raiders as saying — "We are 
the descendants of the first natives, and original proprietors of 
all this kingdom, both Highlands and Lowlands. The land all 
belongs to us, consequently the grass on that land, and conse- 
quently the cattle that is fed on that grass. The I^wlanders are 
Sassenach (this is a corruption of Saxons), or Englishmen, who 
have come and taken our country from us, and, by taking their 
cattle or corn, we only take what belonged, or ought now to 
belong, to us." This is the very argument which Scott puts into 
the mouth of Roderick Dubh :— 

** Pent in this fortress of the North, 
Think'st thou we will not sally forth 
To spoil the spoiler as we may. 
And from the robber rend the prey. 
Ay, by my soul, while on yon plain 
The Saxon rears one shock of grain, 
While, of ten thousand herds, there strays 
But one along yon river's maze, 
The Gael, of plain and river heir, 
Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share." 

The Raider also quotes from the Apocrypha the answer of 
Simon to King Antiochus (Maccabees xv. 33-34) : — 

" We have neither taken other men's land, nor holden that which appertaineth 
to others, but the inheritance of our fathens, which our enemies had wrongfully in 
poflBesKion a certain time. Wherefore we, having opportunity, hold the inheritance 
of our fathers." 

And he further strengthens his case by referring to the customs 
of the Greeks, as narrated by Thucydides— ** Robbery was 


honoured^ provided it was done with address and courage, and 
that the ancient poets made people question one another as they 
sailed by, * If they were thieves.' as a thing for which no one 
ought to be scorned or upbraided." Principal Sir W. Geddes 
has kindly verified the reference to Thucydides — >//Mrafw, koI rhv 


Tov ep^ov, il>€povTOi 8c Tt KOI 80^179 fiakkov He says — *• The passage, 
Book I., 5, is a famous one, and suits the modem Klephts, as 
well as ancient iEtolians." Another friend, Mr G. Harvey, 
Gran town, has supplied a note with translation : — 

*' In speaking of the early Qreek tribes, Thucydiues, in he introduction to his 
Histoiy of the Peloponnefkian War, describes them as migratory, procuring a pre- 
carious subsistence, and with no common name or intc'rest, and the fifth chapter of 
his first book, which contains the iiaraage quoted by Sir Wm. Geddes, and here 
underlined, might be translated as follows, keeping as literal a rendering as poesible : — 
' For of old the Greeks and such of the barbarians [i.e. non-Greeks] as were on the 
seaboard of the mainland or were in possession of islands, when once they began tn 
cross over in ships from one to the other, betook themselves, under the lead of their 
Rtrongest men, to piracy [or robbery] to enrich themselves and maintain their 
dependents [lit. weaklings]. They would swoop down on towns unfortified and 
peopled like villages [t.f. exposed] and teovld tal-e to pillaging them and thereby would 
procure the hulk of their tuhiistenee [or livelihood]. Thi* practice [employment] did 
not yet [i.e, in those early times] entail any discredit hut rather brought rep%Uation. 
Even in our own days some of those who live on the mainland exhibit [this trait], s» 
they take credit for doing this [i.e, plundering] well, and in the old poets voyagers 
are everywhere alike questioned whether they are pirates [buccaneers, rievers] [on 
the assumption] that those to whom the enquiry is put would not disown the 
practice, nor would those who sought to knowTegard it as a reproach. They pillaged 
each other on the mainland, and to this day in many parts of Greece they live in the 
old way among the Locri, the i£tolians, and the Acamanians, and in that part uf the 
mainland ; and the bearing of iron weapons [i,e. arms] has continued with the main- 
landers from their old practice of piracy.* " 

The Thieves* Road ^jRatAad-nam-Afear/eacAJ can be traced 
from I^chaber to the East Coast of Scotland. In this parish it 
hugs the hills. Entering from the heights of Rothiemurchus, it 
skirts the south side of Loch Morlich, passes out at the Green 
Loch, then by the Sleighich, the Eag-mhor, and the Crasg, into 
the lowlands of BanflF and of Moray. It was a rule with the 


caterans to return by a diflferent way than that by which they 
had come. They generally made their raids when there was 
good moonlight. They were also watchful of opportunities. 
Their spies, who were resident in the country, or on friendly 
terms with the people, gave them information, which they turned 
to good account. Once upon a time the men of Tulloch were 
away at Forres for a millstone. They had to roll it along by 
means of a pole thrust through the hole in the centre, and this 
took time, and had to be carefully done. In their absence a 
Lochaber band made a raid, and carried off much spoil. When 
the Tulloch men found what had happened, they hurried off 
in pursuit. Next day being Sunday, the Rothiemurchus men 
turned out from church and joined them. The Camerons were 
found near I^ch Ennich, and, after a sharp encounter, they were 
driven off, and the spoil recovered. One man only fell in the 
fight — who is known in tradition as Fear-na-casan-cciol, the man 
with the spindly legs. Weddings and other festivals sometimes 
afforded a chance for a foray. At the marriage of Fear Dal-na- 
poit, in the i6th century, there was a great gathering. All went 
merrily, but next morning the folds were empty. There was at 
once a call to arms — 

** Ho ! gur e 'n latha e, 's mithich bhi 'g eiridh 
Mhnathan a ghlinne, nach mithich dhuibh eiridh. 
Ho ! gur e 'n latha e, 's mithich bhi 'g eiridh 
Mise rinn a mhoch eiridh, *s agaibh *s tha feum air I 
Ho I gur e *n latha e, 's mithich bhi 'geiridh 
'S Ian dubh biorach, a 'gioman na spreidh." 

Grant of Achernack commanded the party. They found the 
- Ix>chaber men resting at the Slochd of Bachdcharn. The 
assailants had the advantage of the hill. They pressed their foes 
hard, and at last compelled them to retreat. Achernack, who 
was a good archer, slit the I/)chaber Captain's nose with an 
arrow, from which he got the name of Ian Dubh biorach. Ian 
vowed revenge. Some time after, Achernack met the priest of 
Finlarig at the mill of Drummuillie, and had a keen dispute with 


him as to which should be first served. The priest won, and 
Achemack said he would remember it to him. Ian Dubh heard 
of this. He came at night to Finlarig, entered the house by a 
window, and stabbed the priest to the heart. There was great 
indignation for this cruel murder. Achernack*s threat was 
remembered, and he was arrested by order of the Bishop of 
Moray and taken to Elgin, where, it was said, he was put to the 
torture. Some time after Ian Dubh was caught, and condemned 
to be hanged, but before his death he confessed to the murder of 
the priest. On this the Laird of Grant obtained the release of 
Achemack, and as some compensation for the wrongs done to 
him, the Bishop settled upon him the lands of Muckrach. Such 
is the tradition as to how the Grants got Muckrach. The con- 
tentions between the clans frequently led to raiding. The chiefs 
connived at such expeditions, as they got advantages from them 
in various ways. The famous Raid of Moyness, 1645. affords an 
illustration. This raid is described in the following letter from 
Mr Grant, factor, Heathfield. dated 13th December, 1810 : — 

" When the Strathsiiey men, oaramanded by Grant of Lurg, came near where the 
Camerons and the cattle were, one nieikle or big Lawson, one of Mr Lawson of 
Balliemore's ancestors, wax sent to the Camerons to desire them to leave the cattle to 
prevent bloodshed. On his way back to his own jxarty, with the answer he got, one 
of the Camerons let fly an arrow and shot him dead, upon which the conflict began. 
The Camerons were worsted, and the cattle taken from them. The Strathspey men, 
in their way after the Camerons, and as they passetl by Kylachie, Mr Mackintosh of 
Kylacliie made offers of himself and his i>eople to accompany them, but the}- declined 
his assistance, excepting that of one man of the name of Grant he had, who was a 
famous bowman. He went with tliem and acted valiantly. Of the Stratlispey men, 
there was one Grant of the old Ballindalloch family, who in that af&ir behaved moat 
cowardly. As a punishment for his conduct he was oblige<l every Sunday, after 
sermon, at Inverallan, during a year, to Htantl up and say, in the face and hearing of 
the congregation, '/ am <^c inan who Mutval tnost cowardly on siwh an occasion,' 
and opposite to him the other Grant who had gone along with them from Kylachie, 
stood up and said, * / am the nuin who behaved valiantly on that occation.* I know 
none of the offspring of these two Grants now in the country. Thia anecdote and 
piece of history I had two nights ago from my brother, the minister of Duthil." 

THK thieves' road, WITH INCIDENTS BY THE WAY. 215 

The I^ird of Grant complained to Lochiel of the miscondnct 
of his people, and received the following characteristic reply: — 

" Allan Cambron of Loohikl to Sir Jambs Qrant of Freucuib. 

'' Glenlocharbeg, 18 October, 1645. 
^'Rtcht Honorabill avd Loving Cusbnb, — My heartly commandationes being 
remembrit te your Worship. I have received your worshipia letter oonaeming this 
misfortun accidente that never fell out houses the lyk before in no man's dayes ; be 
praaed be God, I am innocent of the samming and my freindis, both in respect that 
they got within your worshipis boundisi bot to Morrayland^ quhair all men tcUu their 
prejf, nor knew not that Moynes was ane Grauot, but thocht thftt he was ane 
Morrayman, and if they knew him, they would not stin^ hiH 'land more than the 
rest of your worshipis boundis in Straspy ; and, sir, I have gotten such a losse of my 
freindis, quhilk I hope your Worship shall consider for hawe aught dead alredie, and 
I have 12 or 13 under cure, quhilk I know not quho shall die or quho shall live of 
the samming. So, sir, whosoever hes gotten the greatist loss I am content that the 
samm be reparet to the sight of freindis that loveth us both alyk ; and ther is such 
a truble heir amongest us, that we can not look to the same for the present tyme, 
qubill I witt who shall live of my men that is under caire. So not further troubling 
your worship at this tyme, for your worship shall not be o£fendit, at my freiodis 
innocende. So I rest yours, 

" Allan Oambronb of LochylL'' 

Raiding continued to the middle of the last century. After 
Culloden, the practice was put down with a strong hand. A 
central authority was established at Inverness, with local officers. 
When a robbery was reported a detachment was sent out at once 
from the nearest garrison, the country was scoured, the culprits 
arrested, and judgment inflicted with stem severity. It is said 
that in the first five years after 1746 more thieves were hanged in 
Inverness than in the previous quarter of a century. But the 
practice lingered later, for the Rev. John Grant says (O. S. A.) 
that he remembers when the people of this country kept out a 
watch in the summer months for protecting their cattle, and 
these watches kept up by a round of duty, and relief at certain 

The following letter from the famous Rob Roy is interesting, 
as referring to "lifting cattle,** and the way of tracking the 
raiders : — 


" Rob Rot to laeuteiumt-Colonel William Oraitt of BaUindalloch. m to oertun 
stolen cattle. 

" iDnerlochLirig, in Ballqufdda-, 
"Kay the 26, 1726. 

" Mt Dbar Colonkll, — I cannot express myself how much we that arc 
M*Qregor'8 are oblicli^ to you. Yow are always reckoned a great man in their 
books ; but your last behaviour at Aberdeen will make them adore yow as ene of 
their litle gods upon earth. Wlien our letter came here from our friends in the 
north to show their friends here your act ing so much for tliem, that we cabal'd for 
twenty-four hours drinking your health aud (^aptain Grant's. So, in short, I doe 
believe that there is none of yuur friends in this country but what would venter 
their lives for yow without asking qup^tious. 

" How soon I got your last letter I went to my Lonl Broadalbaine's tennente, I 
having got formerly intelligeDce that they recettt«d some of your country catell of 
the same mark and iroiiit. After being extkimiued, one of them declares that he got 
a brown blackish cow with a burning iron upon her hip in excliange of another cow 
from Donald Bane Begg. There is nothing remaiuing of the cow but the half of the 
hyde th<&t the burning iron was one. This man is a son-in-law of Donald Bane 
Begg's. There is one Donald M^Grigor declares he got at the Rame time a lai<ge 
brown cow from Donald Bane Begg in payment of mony he owed him. This Donald 
M'Grigor likeways declares that Donald had cows alougs with the cow he bought that 
had irons on verry like the irons I produced him, which was the irons tent io me be 
Cluery with Grigor Roy. I know it wa"3 Cluery's cows and yours that Donald Bane 
Begg had, so that I think shame to put hanl, tho' it were in your power and mine, 
to any of my Lord Broailalliaine's tcunents. While as yow have the actors vrith 
yourself, I doe not doubt if yow put hard to Donald Bane but he'iil find Clueiy's 
cow alive yet. I doe really think that ye should cause him pay the honest gentle- 
man's cows. Doe with your own lady's cow a-* you thiuk fitt ; but sure Donald Bane 
was the stealler of her. Were he in thit< country I would make him pay both, 
otherways I would make liim string for it. When ye send the horse, challanged in 
your country, belonging to my Lord Broadal bain's tenuant, Ix? sure to send a sure 
hand with him that will cari-y back to yow the mare that was challanged in my Lord 
Broadalbain's ground. Yow may assure yourself that there is nothing that yow will 
ask in reason in this countr}' but what will l>e granted. I would send Grigor with 
the answer of your letter, if it were not that he is gohig in pursuance of a horse 
stolen from Robert Grant (Lurg). He swears that he will never face Straithsi)ey till 
he have him, or payment for him. 1 trouble yow with no more at i)resent, ouly tliat 
I oflFer my hearty service to y«)urf*clf and la<ly ; and 1 am, dear Sir, 

" Your own, 

" Ro. Roy. 
"Colonell WiLUAM Grant of Ballindalloch— Huse." 




Among the raiders some stand out as more famous than others. 
Patrick Macgregor or Gilderoy {Gille-ruadh, the red lad), whose 
name has passed into song, and whose life has been invested 
with the glamour of romance (cf. "Lives and Exploits of English 
Highwaymen," by Captain Charles Johnson) was well known in 
our parish. TuUoch was one of his haunts. Mi; John Hay, 
Edinburgh, writing to the Laird of Grant, 30th June, 1639, says 
— " It seems your Baillies has been better acquaint with Gillroy 
than you have allowed, els I cannot think he would have been so 
weel used, and so often, and long lying lodged, and entertained, 
on your bounds. It is to be suspected, and may be perchance 
provin that James Grant (Carron) has had no worse usage, so 
that I think your friends hes wronged you, in that sort, as never 
honest gentleman of your coate is lyke to suffer more be their 
doings than you." Gilderoy with five others were hanged on 
the 29th July, 1638. Thirty years after, Patrick Roy Macgregor, 
another notorious fieebooter, was also put to death. Lord 
Pitmeddie gives the following graphic sketch of this desperado— 
•* He was of a low stature, but strong made, had a fierce counten- 
ance, a brisk hawk-like eye. He bore the torture of the boots 
with great constancy, and was undaunted at his execution, 
though mangled by the executioner in cutting ofi" his hand." It 
was sometimes ordered that the right hand should be cut oflF 
before the execution. James Grant of Carron {Setitnas-an-tuitn), 
above referred to, had also accomplices in the district. Ample 
powers were given to the Laird of Grant to deal with him, and 
5000 merks were offered for his apprehension, but for a time all 


endeavours to lay hold of him failed. It was said afterwards, in 
depositions before the Privy Council, that never were ten men 
employed against James Grant, but five sent him information 
privately of what was going on. He was at last apprehended 
and taken to Edinburgh, but he managed to escape. Nothing 
daunted, he resumed his old ways, and after many strange 
adventures he is said to have died quietly in his bed about 1639. 
AlHster Grant of Wester Tulloch was one of Carron's chief 
allies. He was the son, or perhaps the brother, of John Grant, 
alias Macjockie, who with his two sons, Patrick and John, were 
condemned to death in 1637. The first glimpse we get of him is 
in company with John Grant of Carron, nephew of James, at the 
slaughter of Thomas Grant of Dalvey and Lachlan Mackintosh 
in 1628. Having been denounced as a rebel and put to horn, he 
fled to Ireland. He seems to have found friends there, as Lord 
Antrim wrote a letter or certificate on his behalf to the Laird of 
Grant. In 163 1 a commission was issued to Sir John Grant for 
his apprehension, and power was given, should AUister " flee to 
strengths," ** to pass, follow, and perseu him, raise fyre, and use 
all kinds of force and warrlyke ing>'ne that can be had." Sir 
John was successful, and Allister was apprehended and lodged 
in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, 1631. The trial was postponed 
from time to time, but it came off" on the 4th August, 1632. 
Allister was charged, at the instance of John Grant of Ballin- 
dalloch and others, with the triple crime of participation in the 
raid of Inverernan, November, 1628, when he is said to have 
taken away kine, oxen, horses, ewes, and other plenishings; 
an attack on Ballindalloch, 23rd April, 1630, of purpose t« have 
harried and spuilzed the same, when he slew John Dallas ; and 
thirdly, the slaughter of Thomas Grant of Dalvey and Lachlan 
Mackintosh, on the lands of Rothiemoon, August, 1628. He 
was found guilty on all the counts, and sentenced to death ; but 
the execution was postponed by Act of Council, 3tst July, 1632, 
and it is doubtful if it was ever carried out. The raider who 
made the deepest impression on our people was the man who was 


called by way of eminence the ** Ceannard" or Chief. There is 
some mystery about him. His proper name is not given, but he 
is always spoken of in the letters of the Privy Council by his 
Gaelic nickname, ** An Gamhainn Cirinn," or its Scottish equiv- 
alent, "The Halkit Stirk." Names there have always been. 
They were necessary to mark and identify individuals. Sur- 
names, like many other things, good and bad, are said to have 
come in with the Normans. In the Highlands, where clan 
names were so common, it was often found convenient to give 
individuals, and especially notable men, some designation, or 
nickname, by which they might be distinguished from others. 
The nickname was generally given for some peculiarity of 
feature. Among the Macgregors, Ian dubh biorach got his name 
from the sharpness of his nose, which had been sliced by Acher- 
nack's arrow. Patrick Macgregor was called Parraig donn an 
i-shugraidk. It is said he had, like Diarmid, a mole or beauty 
spot (ball-seirce) on his cheek, which caused any maiden who 
looked upon it to fdU in love with him. Probably the man had 
a certain charm of manner. His power proceeded not from the 
magic of his skin-spot^ but from the magnetism of his personality. 
The "Gamhainn" may have belonged to a family which bore 
this sobriquet, as there were such in l^ochaber, or he may have 
received the title from his own well-known strength and 
stubbornness (cf. the custom as to names among the North 
American Indians, and the mention in the Old Testament of such 
designations as Oreb, The Raven, and Zeeb, The Wolf— Judges 
vii. 25). The term cirhin means white-face (cir-f hionn), and was 
given from some mark on the forehead. Though the man's proper 
name is not mentioned, there is little doubt but he was a Mac- 
donald or Macdonell from Lochaber. In 1660, August 29th, the 
Commissioners of Estates gave special orders to the Laird of 
Grant for "the preservation of the peace of his country'," and the 
letter contains the following very significant postscript : — " Sir, 
be pleased to take spetiall notice of Gavine Cirinn alias Halket 
Stirk, and use all possible means to apprehend his person and 


send him to the Committee." The Laird was successful in 
apprehending the Gamhainn, and he sent his Chamberlain, James 
Grant of Achemack, to Edinburgh with a letter intimating this 
to the Chancellor, and with instructions to represent the danger 
of reprisals from Macranald, and all the tacksmen of the name of 
Macdonald in I/>chaber. He was also to crave that "surety 
should be taken of Macranald and all the branches of his house, 
with the rest of the people of Lochaber, Glengarr>% Badenoch, 
Rannoch, Glencoe, Glenlyon, Glengaule in Stratheam, and 
Strathnaim, that the Laird (of Grant) and all his kin, and 
his tenants should be skaithless, and in the meantime to 
direct letters to Glengarry and the Heritor of Glencoe because 
the Halkit Stirk had many friends in these' two places." The 
reply is dated gth October, 1660 :— " The Committee of Estates 
haveing heard your letter read in their presence, are very 
sensible of your good service in apprehending the Halkit Stirk, 
and doe render to you hearty thanks for your care therein, 
assuring you that they will be very desyrous to protect and 
maintain you and your followers for doing so good a work 
to His Majesty and the peace of the kingdome, and will be 
very ready to resent and repare any wrong or injury that 
shall be done to you or your followers upon this accompt, giving 
you notice that they have directed ane warrant to the Magis- 
trates of Aberdeen to receive the Halkit Stirk from you that 
he may be conveyed along till he come to the Tolbooth of 
Edinburgh." Having received this warrant, the Laird despatched 
the Gamhainn with a strong guard to Aberdeen, and from there 
he was conveyed by stages to Edinburgh. But his ** many 
friends" did not forget him, and even the Laird of Grant, perhaps 
at the solicitation of his tenants, interested himself in his behalf, 
for he sent his Commissioner again to Edinburgh to discuss 
various matters with the Lord Advocate, and ** to speak for the 
Halkit Stirk to see if he will be releavit upon good securities The 
intercession for the Gamhainn seems to have been successful. 
So far as can be discovered from the Records, he was not brought 


to trial, but " releavit upon good securitie." There is an entry 
in the Books of Regality of Grant, 1698- 1703, which corroborates 
this, showing that Margaret Bayn, Inchtomach, was charged 
with ** haunting with the Halkit Steir" and others, and punished 
by scourging (p. 146) The tradition in the country is that the 
Gamhainn resumed his old trade, and that he was severely 
wounded in a fight at Ri-daros, near the Green Loch, and had to 
be left behind in Glenmore in care of the Stewarts. It is said 
that Mrs Stewart was one day bringing him food, accompanied 
by her son. The Gamhainn, who no doubt had an eye for 
manliness, said, " That's a pretty lad, it's time he was sent to 
school." Mrs Stewart answered that he had been to school at 
Ruthven, and had got on well. " O,' said the Gamhainn, "it 
was not the school of the white paper I was thinking of, but the 
school of the moon'* (Cha'n e sgoile a phaipair gheall bha 
mi ciallachadh^ etch sgoile-na-geallaich)} We find a parallel to 
this in Rob Roy's offer to his kinsman. Professor Gregory, 
Aberdeen : — " I have been thinking what I could do to show 
my sense of your hospitality. Now, here you have a fine 
spirited boy of a son, whom you are ruining by cramming him 
with your useless book-learning ; and I am determined, by way 
of manifesting my great good-will to you and yours, to take 
him with me, and make a man of him " (Scott's Introduction to 
** Rob Roy"). Before his death, the old raider made a sort of 
confession of his sins. His last words were that " he had never 
taken anything from the poor, that he had been kind to the 
widow and the fatherless, and that he had always gone far 
away for spoil." Here again we find something of the spirit 
of Rob Roy, of whom Sir Walter says : — '* He was the friend of 
the poor, and, to the utmost of his ability, the support of the 
widow and the orphan. Kept his word when pledged, and died 
lamented in his own wild country, where there were hearts 
grateful for his beneficence, though their minds were not 
sufficiently instructed to appreciate his errors." 

> See Appendix, Note 12, 




It is only within the last sixty years that the letting of 
shootings has become common. Before then they were 
preserved, but not. let. Shooting was one of the "sylvan 
amusements*' at Charlieshope — ("Guy Mannering.") Mrs 
Rebecca, maid to Mrs Margaret Bertram, says— '* They were 
very decent folk the Dinmonts My Lady liked the Charlies- 
hope hams, and the cheeses, and the muir-fowl that 
they were aye sending." The Earl of Glenallan, in "The 
Antiquarj'," is represented as saying of Captain Macintyre, " he 
shall have full permission to sport over my grounds." In "St 
Ronan*s Well ** there are references to the same state of things. 
" We found the place much to our mind ; the landlady (Mrs 
Dodds) had interest with some old fellow, agent of a non-residing 
nobleman, who gave us permission to sport over his moors." 
One of the earliest notices of the more strict preservation of 
game in the north may be found in an advertisement in the 
Aberdeen Jomnal in 1766. It is as follows: — "The Right Honble. 
the Earl of Fife intends strictly to preserve his game on his 
lands in the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray, and hopes 
that no person or persons will hunt thereon, with gun, dog, or 
net, without his Lordship's leave, otherwise they will be 
prosecuted in terms of law." Another interesting advertise- 
ment, referring to game, appeared in the Journal thirty years 
later :— 

*' At a meeting of the Northern Shooting Club, held at Aberdeen, the 22d of 
December, 1796, Present Dr George Skene of Berry hill ; Major-Oeneral Haj of 
Rannea ; Sir Archil^ald Qrant of Monymusk ; J. U. Horn Elphinston of Horn [14 
other names] — Dr Skene in tlie chair — Tlie Meeting being informed that great 


quantities of hares, partridgeB, and other game had been killed during the present 
season, especially in the vicinity of Aberdeen, and being resolved to exert themselves 
for the preservation of the game, which the present severity of the season requires 
them more particularly to attend to — resolved to recal, and they do hereby recal all 
shooting licences granted by any of them preceding this date ; and in order to the 
more effectual detection of poachers and others infitnging the Game Laws, the 
Northern Shooting Club hereby offer a reward of Three Guineas, over and above the 
statutory penalties, to be paid to any person or persons informing against poachers 
or others destroying or killing game without leave, and particularly during the 
present inclemency of the season ; to be paid by Dr Dauney, advocate in Aberdeen, 
upon conviction of the offenders. George Skene, Chairman." 

Captain Dunbar, in documents relating to the province of 
Moray, states that Sir Archibald Dunbar (born 1772), when a 
young man, used to go yearly to the Bridge of Dulsie and 
shoot all round without let or hindrance. But more liberty 
would have been allowed him, as a landed proprietor 
and among friends, than would have been permitted to 
others. This seems evident from a letter from the Earl of 
Fife to Sir Archibald, printed by Capt. Dunbar, in which his 
lordship says — " I beg leave to assure you that I hope you will 
use no ceremony to hunt, shoot, or sport on any grounds of 
mine." Things were much in the same way in Strathspey : 
Shootings were preserved, but not let, and permission to shoot 
was granted, under certain conditions, by the proprietor. The 
following was the form used on the Grant Estates, in Strathspey 

— ** Colonel Grant presents his compliments to , and allows 

him permission to shoot this season, in terms of the prefixed 
regulations, to which he is requested to pay particular attention. 
CuUen House, the 14th August, 1832." The form is printed, and 
the blanks as to name and date are filled up in the handwriting 
of the late Colonel Grant of Grant, who was then acting as 
curator for his brother, Lewis Alexander, Earl of Seafield. The 
regulations are as follows : — 

" Cglonbl Grant, in order to preserve tJie Gaub on the Seafield Estate, has found 
it proper to establish the following Regulations, which he expects that every Gentle* 
QiaQ obtaining leave to shoot or course will strictly observe. 


" 1. No ahooting or cuuning ii permitted on any part of the Ground* or Moors of the 

Estate utuated within tax miles of CuUen House, Castle Grant, or in the 

vicinity of Lochindorb. 
" 2. The Black Game, Pheasants, Red Deer and Roes are not to be killed, at any 

season, or on any part of the Estate, without special instructions. 
" 8. It is expected that no Gentleman who has leave to sport, will exo«>ed the bounds 

of moderation in the number or quantity of Game he may kilL 
" 4. No Permission to shoot or course is to extend beyond one season. 
** 5. It ii to be always distinctly understood tliat a Permission to sport is to be used 

only by the individual named therein and not by any other person (whether 

friend or Gamekeeper, Ac), for him." 

In Abernethy there were four gentlemen who obtained the 
privilege of shooting— Captain Gordon, Revack ; Captain Mac- 
donald, Coulnakyle ; Captain Grant, Birchfield ; and Mr Forsj'th, 
The Dell, and during the season they spent many a happy day 
on the moors. Captain Grant, Congash, was then factor for 
Strathspey. He was a rigid Tory, and was very slow to 
recognise the need of changes and improvements. When 
there began to be talk of the letting of moors, he would 
not at first hear of such a thing, and afterwards, when a 
certain Abernethy gentleman said to him that he could get 
a tenant for him, he said lightly, ** You may have as long a 
lease as you like of Abernethy moors for ;^50 a year.** Happily 
for the proprietor, the offer was not accepted. In a few years 
things completely changed. Moors were taken readily, and rents 
went up by leaps and bounds. The moor which was let to Mr 
Boyd in 1835 for ;^8o, now (including the Deer Forest) brings 
in twenty times as much ! Coulnakyle, the old manor- 
house, was the first shooting lodge, and was occupied 
by various tenants. It was about 1840 that the rage for 
big bags began. Mr Richard Winsloe was then tenant of 
the Abernethy moors. He was a keen and successful 
sportsman. When he chose, he could easily make, by steady 
shooting, 100 brace, on the Twelfth, to his own gun, but he was 
never ambitious to beat the record, or of having his doings 
trumpeted in the newspapers. It will be observed that in the 

till: :^ ; oi:.. jaliuns ^ 




















permission to shoot on the Grant estates, red deer and roe are 
excluded, and that they were not to be killed "without special 
instructions." This difference, as. marking the higher character 
of the sport, seems to have always existed. Deer were very 
strictly preserved, and the penalty for poa^ching was severe. 
Glenmore was erected into a Royal Forest in 1685. In 1728, 
James Stewart was Keeper of the Forest, and the accompanying 
letter addressed to him by the Duke of Gordon, shows both the 
courtesy of the Duke and the strictness of the regulations as to 

The Deer Forest of Abernethy was established in 1869. It 
includes about 26,000 acres, one-fourth of which is wood, 
affording fine shelter in winter. The number of stags killed in 
the season is from 60 to 70, averaging 14 stone each, weighed 
with heart and liver included. Royals are not infrequent, and in 
1892 a fine 14-pointer — 18 stone — ^was killed. The Forest of 
Glenmore was formed in 1859. It extends to some 15,000 acres, 
including the west face and corries of Cairngorm. The yield 
of stags is from 50 to 60. 

The gain to landowners by the letting of shootings has been 
great. Ratepayers also have profited, from the large proportion 
of rates paid by the shooting tenants.^ Whether there have been 
equal advantages morally and socially, is another question, as to 
which opinions differ. In thought of the desolation wrought in 
our glens, many will sympathise with the poet, when he sings— 

"The auld hoose is bare noo, a cauld hoose to me. 
The hearth is nae mair noo the centre o' glee, 
Nae mair for the baimies the bield it has been : 
Och, hey ! for bonny Kinreen. 

•• The auld folk, the young folk, the wee anes an' a*, 
A hunder years' hame birds are harried awa — 
Are harried an hameless whatever winds blaw : 
Och, hey ! Kinreen o' the Dee." 

(Idylh and Lyrics by William Forsyth,) 

* Sec Appendix, Note 13. 





Some years stand out from others, and are remembered and 
talked of when the rest are forgotten. The world has its eras, 
nations have their epochs, and communities have their memor- 
able years. "What are the events," says the Antiquar>% "which 
leave the deepest impression on the common people? These 
were not such as resemble the ^adual progress of a fertilising 
river, but the headlong and precipitous fury of some portentous 
flood. The eras by which the vulgar compute time have always 
reference to some period of fear and tribulation, and they date 
by a tempest, an earthquake, or burst of civil commotion." One 
of the memorable times that used to be spoken of in our parish 
was The Famine of King, William (Gort Righ Uilleam). This 
famine was like "the seven bad years" of Egypt, for it lasted 
from 1695 to 1702, and was "very grievous" and "consumed the 
land." According to tradition, the condition of the people was 
very piteous. Each winter their straits became worse, till the 
poor were driven to eat the lichen from the rocks and the nettles 
from the church-yards. Lorimer says " many tenants died, and 
the lands lay unpossessed." 

Another memorable year was The Pefise Year, 1782 (Bliadhna- 
na-peasarach). It got this name from the fact that the people 
had to depend almost altogether on pease meal, imported from 

The years 18 14, [815, 18 16, were years of much distress. 
The crops almost entirely failed, and there was great destitution. 
Even in the low country there was scarcity, and people who 
went down to " the I^ich," like Jacob's sons to Egypt, to buy 
com, returned empty. Sir James Grant did much in these hard 


times for the relief of his tenants. Meal was imported, and sold 
out at reduced rates from the Castle Grant granaries; while 
assistance was given freely to the poor. Seed com was also 
supplied. In i8i6 prices of grain rose rapidly. In January 
wheat cost 52s 6d the quarter, in May it rose to 76s, in August 
to 82s, and in December to 103s. In June, 1817, it reached the 
extraordinary height of 11 is 6d. The prices of other grain were 
correspondingly high. 1816 was the year of the Earthquake, 
One curious belief exists that several infants were on the 
occasion stricken with paralysis. 

The year 1826 was memorable as the year of The Short Crop 
(Bliadhna-bharr-ghoirid). There had been a sharp storm in 
November, followed by intense and prolonged frost. On old 
new year's day there was a thaw. Then drought set in. Month 
after month passed and no rain fell. The grass was burnt up, 
and the com was so short and stunted that in many cases it 
could not be cut, but had to be plucked up. The story is told of 
Charlie Fraser, Boat of Garten, a noted character, that when he 
had thrashed the few sheaves brought into the bam, he was 
heard to say — " There you are again, and there's no more of ye 
than when ye went out ! " Some more recent remarkable years 
were 1863, when there was a remarkable frost on St Swithin's 
day, 15th July ; 1865, when there was one of the longest and 
heaviest snow storms since 1795, the snow lying on the ground 
from two to three feet deep, and lasting from December to the end 
of March, interrupting all labour, and causing much privation to 
man and beast ; 1872, which was the wettest year on record. The 
early promise was good. Never was there prospect of richer 
crops, but disappointment came. The harvest failed. It might 
be said, with Shakespear 

'• The ox hath, therefore, stretched his yoke in vain ; 
The ploughman lost his sweat ; and the green com 
Hath rotted ere his youth attained a beard." 

In 1881, there was intense and long-continued frost, reminding 
old people of 1809, the year Mr Patricia of Duthil died, when, owin^ 


to the depth of the frost, it was necessary to keep up large fires 
in the church-yard before the grave for the parson could be 
opened. There was also a remarkable frost in 1895, which was 
severely felt over the whole country. The years 1846 and 1849 
were notable for disastrous floods. On the morning of Saturday, 
8th August, 1846, there was an outbreak of thunder and rain. 
At breakfast-time there came a lull. Then, shortly after, the 
rain began to fall in torrents, accompanied by the most appalling 

" Since I was a man. 
Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder. 
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never 
Remember to have heard." 

This fall lasted only about two hours. When the sky cleared 
the scene was extraordinary. On the hills every gully was a 
torrent, and every cliff a waterfall. The streams rose with 
marvellous rapidity, carrying destruction along their course. 
The bridge at Congash, and five others in this parish were 
destroyed. The potato disease broke out immediately after, 
and many people connected it with the thunderstorm. The 
flood of 1849, by which the old bridge at Inverness was 
carried off", was very destructive. The Nethy undermined and 
swept away some 50 to 60 feet of the gravel bank at the Causair, 
and made a new and straighter channel, abandoning the old 
course, which, in the form of a gigantic Si it had followed 
previously, by the Dell Island and Heather Brae. In February, 
1893, there was an alarming ice-flood. The Nethy and Dorback 
had been covered with thick ice, which gave way suddenly. 

** Resistless, roaring, dreadful down it comes 
From the rude mountain and the mossy wild." 

This happened at night, and the darkness added to the confusion 
and terror. At Nethy the bridges were choked, and some of the 
houses flooded, but, though there was considerable damage to 
property, no lives were lost. 1804 is memorable as the 3'ear of 
the loss of the soldiers on the I^rig. About the end of 


December seven militiamen left Edinburgh on furlough. They 
rested at Castleton, and, as there was heavy snow on the hills> 
and signs of an approaching storm, they were urged to wait for 
an improvement in the weather ; but, eager to reach home, they 
would not be persuaded. They started on the morning of old 
Christmas Day, some of their friends escorting them for a mile 
or two. Soon snow began to fall, but they pressed on bravely. 
In the Valley of the Avon they met the full fury of the tempest, 
and they found it hard to keep together and make way. It was 
here, near Lochan-a-bhainne, they made their great mistake 
In the gloom and stress of the storm, they took the wrong turn, 
following the Glasalt instead of breasting the I^arig. Gradually 
their strength gave way, and they were separated, or sank to the 
ground overpowered, to sleep the sleep that knows no waking. 
Donald Elder and Alexander Forsyth alone escaped. They 
fought their way over the hills till they reached the Drum, 
where they found shelter. Their comrades, John Tulloch, 
Donald Cameron, Donald Ross, Peter Mackenzie, and William 
Fors)rth perished. The body of John Tulloch was found in a 
moss-hag at Ruigh-allt-an-fheidh, near the junction of the 
Glasalt and Uisge-dubh-poUchoin. Peter Mackenzie came by 
Cam-tarsuinn, and his body was not recovered till some i8 
months after. It is said that Cameron of Caolachie was looking 
on the hills for a lost horse He saw something white at a 
distance, which he took for the bones of the carcase. But 
when he came near he discovered it was the remains of poor 
Mackenzie. The body was a ghastly sight, as the flesh was torn 
and the head severed from the trunk. Cameron never recovered 
from the effects of the shock. One pathetic incident is remem- 
bered. The two Forsyths stuck to one another. At last the 
younger grew faint, and lay down, saying, **I can do no more." 
His brother, seeing he was lapsing into unconsciousness, took 
him on his shoulders, and gallantly struggled on. The rest and 
warmth revived him, and when his brother set him down he was 
able to make his way alone. He escaped, but his brother, who 


had so nobly tried to save him, perished. " Greater love hath no 
man than this, that a man lay down* his life for his friends." 
The three bodies first found were buried in the Church-yard of 
Abemethy, a little to the right of the gate. It is said that, before 
the coffins were lowered, Mr John (the parson) threw some silver 
into the grave, as if to purchase the ground for the strangers. 

Another sad loss from a snowstorm occurred in 1826. The 
Tomintoul market used to be held on the Friday before Martin- 
mas, and as the weather was often cold and stormy at that time» 
it was known as the Fdll-fhuar, the Cold Market. In 1826 there 
was a great gathering from all the parishes round. The morning 
was fair, and business went on briskly, but in the afternoon the 
sky darkened, and snow began to fall. At first it came down 
gently in light flakes, but soon there was a change. The snow 
fell as if in masses, and a tempest of tremendous fury burst upon 
the town. The square was soon cleared, and people driven for 
refuge to the houses. For hours the blizzard raged without 
intermission, and there was great anxiety as to the people who 
had set out for their homes, and who might have been caught by 
the fierce wind and blinding drift amidst the wilds of the 
mountains. Next day the storm continued, and as the village 
was crowded with strangers, there soon arose a cry of scarcity; 
both food and water failed. It was a terrible time, but the sad 
results of the storm were only discovered by degrees. Donald 
Cameron, Culdunie, had, as was his custom, attended the market 
for the sale of quick-fir. He left early, and had got beyond 
Bridge of Broun before the storm broke upon him. He pressed 
on up the hill, turned off by the old road, but near Lynebeg his 
strength failed. He took off the empty panniers, put them on 
the ground beside his horse, and lay down between them. Here 
he and his horse were found dead together. John Tulloch 
and his wife made their way by the Lecht till they were 
near home. Then Tulloch gave way. His wife sat down 
with him under a rock, and tried by rubbing and every kindly 
art, even putting his chill hands into her bosom, to restore him. 


By God's mercy she succeeded. With some words of love and 
good cheer they parted — he to seek help and she to await what 
doom might be appointed for her. Her husband soon returned, 
but too late. His dear wife was frozen to death. The words of 
Thomson, slightly altered, may be quoted — 

*' Alas ! nor child, nor husband more shall she behold, 
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve 
The deadly winter seizes, shuts up the sense,' 
And o'er her inmost vitals, creeping cold, 
I^ys her along the snow, a stiffen'd corse, 
Stretch'd out and bleaching in the northern blast." 

Another couple, Alexander Grant, Lynbeg, and his wife, were 
more fortunate. They had struggled on through the blinding 
storm, but had lost all traces of the road. Coming upon what 
seemed a wall, they took shelter there for a little. Then the wife 
said, *' I think I know where we are — this is the lime-kiln of 
Sliabh-chlach." Her husband answered, " It cannot be." She 
shrewdly replied, "Let the horse go, and he will find his way." 
This was done. The poor brute floundered on, the couple 
holding to his tail, and in a little, to their unspeakable joy, he 
brought them to their own door. It was a wonderful deliverance. 
While they thanked God, they could sing, as never before, " We 
were like them that dream. The Lord hath done great things 
for us, whereof we are glad." There were other hairbreadth 
escapes on that awful night. The story is told of one party, that 
they were in great straits, and one asked another, *' Do you know 
where we are ? " The answer was, *' No more than I know the 
night I am to die." ** Well, as to that," said her companion, 
" there can be no doubt, for it is this very night." But after all 
they escaped, and Mary Grant, *'Mallag Ratmhoine," as she 
was called, lived to marry and to see her children's children. 




Much has been written of the Flood of '29 by Sir Thomas 
Dick Lauder and others, but something of interest may yet be 
added bearing on Abemethy. The Dell house stands near the 
verge of a broad dale or haugh. To the south and east lies the 
farm land, bounded by the Nethy. On the north is the garden, 
which slopes towards a hollow, through which runs a tiny stream, 
fringed with birch ajid alders, probably an old bed of the river. 
On the night of Monday, the 3rd August, two boys, of the ages of 
seven and four, my elder brother and myself, were sleeping in 
the nursery, which was in the west wing of the house. It had 
rained without ceasing for two days, and the gloom was terrible. 
Our parents being from home, we were thrown upon the care of 
servants, who did their best for us, telling us stories by the 
fireside and lulling us to sleep with the sweet lilt of Crochailean. 
But our rest was rudely broken. I have a vivid recollection of 
my nurse, Kirsty Ross, coming in early in the morning, while it 
was yet dark, catching me up and carrying me out in her arras, 
and the strange sound of her feet plash, plashing in the water 
still lives in my ears. The explanation was that the Nethy, 
driven across by the Dorback, had broken the bulwarks below 
Tomghobhainn, and swept down in great force through the 
fields, not only filling the hollow to the west of the house, but 
flooding the lower apartments to the depth of about a foot. The 
maid servants had been sitting up all night in fear and trembling, 
and when the water burst in they had hastened to take us 
children from the nursery to the main house, which stood on a 
higher level. Another memory is very clear. When we 
had been dressed and fed, with the light hearts of child- 


hood we began to amuse ourselves with the waters. Standing 
on the step at the parlour door, we caught at the sticks and 
bits of wood that came floating about in the passage that led to 
the lower wing, piling them up like logs, or building them into 
liliputian rafts. We said we were playing at floating. When the 
waters had subsided, we were taken to the kitchen, and were 
much surprised to see two or three English sheep in the back 
comer. Sween Robertson, one of the farm servants, had found 
them taking refuge on a hillock amidst the waste of waters, and 
with much difficulty had succeeded in bringing them to a place of 
safety. Later still, my nurse carried me out into the garden, 
and shewed me the dark muddy stream rushing past in the 
hollow, fearful to look at, and the cuts and gashes made in the 
walks and the ruin wrought in the plots by the cruel flood. As 
I have mentioned, our father and mother were from home. 
They had gone to the Dell of Rothiemurchus to visit our grand- 
father, Mr Mackintosh. The following account is taken from a 
note-book of my father's, and is of special value, as written at 
the time by an eye-witness : — 

" For three days rain had fallen without intermission. The rivers rose rapidly. 
On Tuesday, 4th August, the Druie broke out and overflowed the lands round the 
Dell, even threatening the house. We were exceedingly anxious about our own 
homo, and home concerns, and left early in the morning in our g^g. We found the 
road at Pytoulish partially covered, and the stream, strange to say, running from the 
Spey into the Loch, instead of, as usual, from the Loch into the Spey. This shewed 
the enormous rise of the Spey. The bridge at Croftmore was also covered, and the 
Kirk of Kincairn surrounded by water. The sweep of the river past Kinchirdy was 
magnificent. What was usually still, deep water, was now turned into mighty 
surges, rolling on in awful majesty ; and the roar was terrible. When we came to 
the Mains of Qarten we were astonished to see the meadows one sheet of water, the 
houses of Caolachie surrounded, and the public road submerged. Further prog^ss 
seemed impossible ; but we got the help of two lads, who went before us on horse- 
back, and piloted us round by the old road above Crof trouan. One of them, Sandy 
Gow (Smith), had a narrow escape. His horse stumbled into a hole ma^le by a cross 
current, and, between the rush of the water and the struggles of the horse, be was 
like to be smored. We found the road at Tonichrocher overflowed, and the view 
from one of the heights was very impressive. Spey had been converted into an 


immense lake stretching from Boat of Garten to InveraUaD, skirted on the one side 
by Tullocligorm and Curr, aod ou the other by Birch6eld and the Culriachs, while 
here and there Tombae, Broomhill, and Coulnakyle stood out as islands in the 
midst of the waters. When we arrived at Bridge of Duack, about 8.30 a.m., we 
observed a cottage, that of Alex. Mitchell, tailor, a little above Net hy- Bridge, swept 
off. This was a sample of the dentruction going on. The road between the two 
bridges was floode<l, but, guided by our brave lads, we got safely through. When 
we turned in the direction of the Dell, our difficulties increased. The Nethy was 
fast cutting into the land, and the air was dank and heavy with the smell of earth 
from the falliug bankd. Hardly had we climbed the hill at old Bridge End, when 
the very road over which we had passed was swept away, and we shuddered at what 
might iiave been our fate. The saw-mill at Straan-beg had been carried off a little 
earlier. The Nethy, forsaking its old course by the foot of Balnagoun, had made a 
new and straighter channel, carrying off the mill. Down it sailed for some distance, 
quite entire — a wonderful sight — and then, coming into contact with a bulwark, it 
was duHlied to pieces. The state of things was becoming more and more terrible. 
People were to be Been in all directions, some looking on mournfully dejected, nay, 
even stupified ; others helping neighbours or busy remoring their effect<8 to places 
of safety. Only one house had as yet fallen, but others were in danger. The Nethy 
having cut tlu*ough tlie land to the went of the bridge, and gradually undermined 
the foundations, the we8t arch fell in about 10 o'clock with a great crash. It was 
hoped that, tlie water having thus got freer sco{)e, the cottages on the Coulnakyle 
side might be saved ; but a clump of alders below the bridge threw a strong current 
to the east side, and three poor cottars had their dwelling-houses, and much of their 
belong^ugti, swept away. This happened between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The work of 
destruction had now been going on for hours. Tlie bonnie banks of Nethy were 
broken up, and the little haughs, with gardens and corn6elds lying here and there, 
had been laid waste. The mischief was not limited to the lower districts, at the 
vast quantity of all sorts of pni{)erty seen floating down the stream plainly shewed. 
Nethy was at her greatest height about 10 a.m. of Tuesday. The river was noticed 
to rise and fall more thui once in the course of the tnorning. This was probably 
owing to outbursts of rain on the hills, and the alternations caused by the shorter 
run of the Dor back. At times there were teirible thunderings and appalling noises 
in the mountains, m if some convulsion of nature were impending. Though much 
land and projierty were destroyed, providentially no lives wei-e lost. At the same 
time, the shock and trouble of these dark days were hurtful to many, and injured 
their strength beyond recovery." 

Mr Forsyth goes on to tell of the depredations of the Nethy 
and its tributaries, and also of the loss of timber and the breaking 
down of banks and bulwarks ; but this part of his notes need not 

The great flood of twenty-nine. 235 

be quoted. He modestly refrains from telling how he reached 
his home; but this has been done by the graphic pen of Sir 
Thomas Dick Lauder : — 

" Unable to proceed in the gig, Mr Forsyth walked up the river-side, large i 
of the bank tumbling every now and then into the torrent. After getting near the 
comer of his garden, where a rill two feet wide and two inches deep was wont to 
run, he found his further pn>gre88 arrested, aod his hout-e surrounded by a broad 
and powerful current of so great a depth as to be quite unfordable. He saw the 
back of his house about 60 or 70 yards from before him. lu it were hid children ; 
and he had no means of knowing what might be the extent of the operations of the 
river beyond. A half-rotten paling, that had as yet resisted this sudden foreign 
flood, appeared dipping from either bank into the stream before him. What it 
might be in the middle he did not know, for there it was already submerged. The 
hazard was tremendous ; but, goaded on by his anxiety, he took his determination. 
Poising a long ladder on the quivering poles, he made a desperate adventure. By 
Ood's providence he achieved it, and found all safe in the bouse, though the water 
was a ftx>t deep in ir." 

Sir Thomas then explains how the breach in the Nethy bulwarks 
had been made by the Dorback, and how the newly-created river 
had played havoc with the turnips and other crops of the Dell. 
He also describes Mr Forsyth's mode of embankment : — 

" Three rows of strong piles are driven down, sloping slightly to the river, and 
are left above the ground of the height of the intended embankment. Two feet 
intervenes between the rows of piles, as well ah between the piles of each row, and 
the piles of the different rows cover each other individually, as rear rank men do 
tho% in the front rank. Young fir trees, with all their branches on, are then laid 
diagonally across between the piles ; but differing from Colonel Mackintosh of Farr'H 
plan so far, that instead of the points of the brush being turned down the stream, 
th#>y are \\\d so as to oppose it, by which means they arrest the «and and mud 
brought down by the river, and each successive stratum of them is covered by it in 
its turn. Six inches of gravel is laid over each layer of brush, between the piles, and 
whole fir tree logs are placed along between the niws over the gravel. These layers 
are repeated till the work is of sufficient solidity to the mass, which speedily assumes 
all the appearance of a natural bank. I saw this embankment, which in a few days 
excluded the water, and perfectly withstood the appendix flood of the 27th August" 

The sufferings and losses caused by the Morayshire floods 
excited much sympathy, and a committee was formed at Elgin, 


with Mr Isaac Forsyth as convener, to raise funds for the relief 
of the poorest class ot sufferers. Reports were obtained from 
the nineteen parishes in the county, and aid granted according 
to the exigencies of the particular cases. The sum of ;f 67 was 
allocated to Abernethy, which was divided among the following 
persons: — ist Class — Lewis Grant (aged 47); John Grant (67); 
May Glass (62); Elizabeth Grant (62^; Roderick Mackenzie 
(47) ; Alex. Mitchell (32) ; Wm. Reid (45 ) ; Ann Grant McEwan. 
2nd Class (crofters) — Duncan Murray (50) ; Alex. Riach (80) ; 
James Riach (60) ; James Macdonald (70). 




The words of the wise are worth remembering. They never 
lose their value. Circumstances alter, but truth abides, and it is 
as necessary for the making of character and the moulding of 
life in the present as in the past. Our ** Young Men's Mutual 
Improvement Association" was started in 1880, and it still lives 
and prospers. When the Association was being organised, the 
President wrote to some men of light and leading, asking words 
of counsel and sympathy. His request was kindly responded 
to, and the letters then received were read with much care, and 
have been cherished ever since with gratitude and pride. We 
feel honoured in giving them a place in this Parish record. 

** But words are things ; and a small drop of ink, 
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces 
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. 
'Tis strange the shortest letter which man uses. 
Instead of speech, may form a lasting link of ages." 

— Byron. 

** Brantwood, Coniston, Lancashire, 
" \st January y 188 1. 

" Mv Dear Sir, — It is at any rate an encouragement to me 
in the opening of the New Year to find that a minister of Christ 
believes I am able to be useful to the youth under his charge. 
But I have little hope myself of being heard in anything, for, on 
the whole, my messages are depressing to the worldly ardours 
of our day, and not glowing enough to kindle the heavenly ones. 
But it seems to me that if you could persuade your young 


Halbert Glendinnings to set themselves first to get a pure and 
noble conception of Scottish life as it might be lived in Scotland, 
and then to found all their literary and other studies on a faithful 
desire to embellish their Scottish homes, and to stay in them, 
and make their days long in their own land, — not rich nor 
powerful in other people's lands, — you would get at a rule and 
system of reading, not to say of thought, which in itself would 
be extremely delightful, and open into higher walks for all who 
felt qualified for them. Perhaps if your little society were at 
first to acquaint itself accurately with the mineralogy and flora 
of its neighbourhood, it would be found a good beginning for all 
else. If you were to tell me more definitely your wishes and 
difficulties, I might perhaps make a more pertinent answer.— 
Believe me, always faithfully yours, 

"J. S. RUSKIN." 

•• 24 H11.1, Street, Edinburgh, 
*'4/A February^ 1881. 

" Dear Sir,— You are doing the right thing. The hope of 
the age is in the young men, and they must learn both to 
instruct and to amuse themselves in a rational way ; otherwise 
the steam that is in them will puff itself off unprofitably, or what 
is worse, dangerously. In the association and the co-operation 
of the intelligent part of the community for moral and intellectual 
culture we find our only safeguard against the evils which are 
inherent in every form of democracy ; and towards democracy, 
in some shape or in some degree, the governments of the world 
are everywhere tending. — Ever yours, 

**J. S. Blackie." 

" Buaidh agus Piseach /" ^ 

' Buaidh aguB Piseach —literally, Victory and Prosperity, a phrase used to express 
" Ckx)d Luck to you 1" 

counse1.s 1*0 young men. 239 

** University, St Andrews, 
'* 15M February, 1881. 

*' My Dear Sir, — I am glad to know that you see your way 
to establish a reading-room for your young people. There is 
probably no way in which you could more benefit them. In two 
directions, at least, your exertions can go — ist, To enlighten the 
young as to the natural world in which we live, which encom- 
passes us on every side, and which extends from the dust 
beneath our feet to the remotest stars that telescope can reach, 
and beyond. 2d. To help them to know the world of men, what 
human life has been in past ages, and what it is now, with some 
thought of what it may be here and hereafter. 

"This is the benign influence of literature, that it enables 
those who study it to know the best thoughts that have been 
thought by the best men throughout all the ages, and to con- 
verse across the gulfs of time with those men, know their 
characters, share their confidences, sympathise with their hopes 
and fears and aspirations. 

** And this, by reading good books, a young man may do in 
the remotest glen of the Monaliath as well as in Edinburgh or 
London —perhaps better, because of his freedom from distraction. 
I trust that you will be successful in your good undertaking, and 
that you may be guided to select good books, and, if periodicals, 
only the wholesome ones. For there are some of these last 
which are not wholesome altogether. Also, I hope that amid 
wider aims you will not neglect anything that will help the 
young men to study local history, to know the past of their own 
neighbourhood and to respect it, and to cultivate a knowledge of 
whatever is best in Gaelic poetry and song. I hare sometimes 
observed that a little knowledge— the first beginnings of educa- 
tion—tends to make young men despise these local matters, as 
though they were trivial and of no account. This is a great 
mistake, as all see who have attained to a more thorough 
knowledge and genuine insight into the truth of histor>' and of 
human nature. — Believe me, yours very faithfully, 

"J. C. Shairp." 



Having written to Mr Ruskin with reference to a lecture, with 
the above title, to be given to our Young Men's Association, he 
was kind enough to reply as follows : — 

" Brastwood, Conistos, Lancashirs, 
'' J^ Fibruary, 188U 

" Mv Dear Sir,— I should like to give my day to the aiiRwering your letter. All I 
can do is to answer what I may, before I o])en the others on my breakfast table. 
This will be an indulgence rather than a duty, for your deeply interesting letter and 
its enclosure move every corner of heart in me, that in fullest of old — and coming — 
days. Forgive my going abruptly into what I would ask you to do. First — at your 
lecture — to bi«l those of your audience who have leisure enough, and faculty, to read 
with extreme attention every word of ' The Monastery' and * Abbot,' gathering 
from them the gist of what Scott tells, or represents to them there, of Scottish life. 
Broadly, they will find these tales to contain the story of two Scottish shepherd boys, 
who, their father having been killed in civil war, leave their widowed mother, the one 
going into the Army, the other into the Church — the first that he may mviy a 
Iteautiful young lady altove his own rank in life, and the other tliat he may forget 
her. The result of thi^ conduct of theirs, for their coumiry^ is that the first spends 
his Ufe in a vain struggle for what you Scotch clergymen have ever since called 
Antichrist ; and tlie second, so far as his best Ixxlily and mental strength can go, is 
instrumental in getting the Queen of Scotland beheaded by the Queen of England, 
and a few years (put in the immber, please, in your lecture) the King of England 
beheaded by a farmer of Huntingdonshire. Possibly both their pieces of life-work 
vu%y have been good for the Scottish and English nations, but they are both beyond 
a doubt (juestionable goods. While had Halbert and Edward stayed with their 
widowed mother, and both married a maid of the moor or the mill, quite without 
question they might in that station have promoted (every hour of their lives) the 
strength and vital happiness of their country. 

" MML%i they in that line of life and conduct have remained countrj' * bumpkins,* 
and led less happy lives than they found in the castle and the clointer ? Is Daiidie 
Dinmont — is even Cuddie Headrigg — a less respectablt person than Halbert Glen- 
dinning ? Are either of them less happy than Edward ? These questions will you 
help your audience to put and to answer ? Tou will be doing, it seems to me, your 
clergyman's most sure duty in such sermon. 


" And now I pass to your enclosure. I have underlined a sentence in it— strongly 
underlined its last word. 

" Will you read it to your audience, and ask those of them who, after the above 
questions have been considered, still desire to be gallant Colonels, and marry Mary 
Avenels — what they are to do when the entire frontier has been padficated t and 
when, by Republican destruction of all chateaux, Maxy Avenels have become as much 
myths as the White Lady. — Ever faithfully and respectfully yours, 

"John Ruskin." 

The enclosure referred to by Mr Ruskin, with the underlined 
sentence, is given further on. One of our most notable Halbert 
Glendinnings was Malcoi^m Fraser. Here is the record of his 
birth and baptism : — ** Malcolm, son to Donald Fraser and Janet 
Mcintosh in Bellifurth was bom ye 15th and baptised ye 22nd of 
May, 1732. Witnesses Duncan Cameron and John Mcintosh 
there." Malcolm was educated at the Abemethy School, which 
was then taught by Malcolm Grant. He was for some time in 
the service of the minister, Mr William Grant, and afterwards 
went south to friends at Delford, near Edinburgh. His father 
was killed at CuUoden, but this did not deter young Malcolm 
from becoming a soldier. The 78th Highlanders were raised by 
the Hon. Simon Fraser, son of Lovat of the '45, and in this 
regiment Malcolm obtained a commission, 1757. War with 
France was then going on, and the 78th were ordered to 
America. Malcolm fought with his regiment in the famous 
battle won by Wolfe on the Heights of Abraham, 1759, where he 
was wounded. He was again more severely wounded at the 
siege of Quebec, 1760. Some time after, with many of his com- 
rades, he retired from active service, obtaining a grant of land 
from the Government, and settling in Canada. But in 1775, 
when the Revolutionary War broke out, he again joined the 
King's forces, and became Captain and Paymaster in the 84th 
Highlanders. He obtained promotion, and ultimately retired 
with the rank of Colonel. Malcolm Fraser appears to have been 
twice married — first, about 1754, to some bonnie lassie from Nethy 
side, who died early; and secondly, in another land, perhaps 



with more of worldly prudence than the ardour of youthful love, 
to a Canadian lady of some fortune. Colonel Fraser spoke 
Gaelic, English, and French, and knew some Latin. He held 
several important public situations at Quebec, and was Seignor 
of Mount Murray, Islet du Portage, and other localities. By his 
second wife he had ten children— i, Angelique, married to John 
M'Laughlin ; 2, Alexander, Seignor of River du Loup, Temis- 
conata, and Madawaska, and five other Seignories ; 3, Joseph, 
surveyor, Seignor of Islet du Portage ; 4, Dr Simon, Seignor of 
Clause ; 5, Julia, married Commissary Patrick Langan, Seignor 
of De Ramsay and Bourcheinn ; 6, Honourable John Malcolm 
Fraser, Legislative Councillor, and Seignor of part of Mount 
Murray; 7, Dr William, co-Seignor of Mount Murray; 8, Mrs 
Belaire, only surviving child, 187 1, aged 85 ; 9, Honourable 
John Fraser, Seignor of Villeray ; 10, Ann, wife of Joseph 
Belanger, merchant at Murray Bay. Colonel Fraser died 14th 
June, 1815, at Mount Murray, and was buried at Quebec in the 
St John*s Burying-Ground. The above information as to the 
family was obtained in 1871 from the late Honourable John 
Fraser de Berry, son of Dr Simon, Chief of the Frasers of the 
Province of Quebec, who stated that at that time Colonel Fraser*s 
descendants numbered more than 150, and that most of them 
spoke French, and were Roman Catholics. Doubtless, in the 
interval since then, they have greatly increased. 

Another of our Halbert Glendinnings was Patrick Mac- 
GR^GOR. His father, James, married Mary Grant of TuUochgorm, 
and was for some time factor of Strathspey, and resided at 
Balliemore. He was held in repute as a man of ability and 
enterprise, who did much for the improvement of agriculture 
in the district. Patrick entered the medical service, and was 
appointed surgeon to George IV. He was ultimately rewarded 
with a Baronetcy, and settled in England. The present repre- 
sentative of the family is William Gordon Macgregor, Leyton, 
Essex, 4th Baronet — bom in 1846. 

The Stuarts of Lethnachyle (now called Lainchoil) were 
one of our oldest families (chap. IX.) Donald and John were 


the family names. In 1739 there was a John, who was an elder 
of the Church. His son John married Marjory Stewart of 
Lynchum, who died at Grantown, 7th November, 1830, aged 
loi. Their son Donald married Janet, younger daughter of 
Robert Grant, Wester Lethendry, Cromdale, and had three sons, 
John, Robert, and Peter, and two daughters, Barbara and 
Marjory. Marjory died at Grantown in 1844, aged 72, and 
Barbara married Alexander Smith of Archiestown Cottage, 
Knockando, father of the late Dr Stuart Smith, of the 
55th regiment, and Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal. The 
fortunes of the sons were very diverse. Patrick went into the 
army, and was for some years Fort Major at Belfast, Ireland. 
John and Robert went to North America. Robert was in the service 
of the North West Company, and came quickly to the front from 
his ability and courage. One day, going down the Columbia 
River, his canoe was upset, and he and the three men with him 
were thrown into the water. They succeeded in getting upon a 
rock, but this was but temporary relief Stuart was a powerful 
swimmer, but none of the others could swim. He bade them be 
of good cheer — that, if God permitted, he would save them. 
Then, taking one of them on his back, he struck out for the 
shore, which with difficult^' was reached. He was now safe, and 
he had rescued one of the men, but this was not enough so long 
as the others were in danger of perishing So he dashed again 
into the water, and brought the second man ashore. The 
tremendous effort told upon him, and, if he had listened to the 
voice of self, he would have said, ** I have done what I could ; to 
try again would be to throw my life away." But the man on the 
rock, alone amidst the surging billows, appealed to him. The 
third time he plunged into the river, and again he reached the 
rock. Resting for a little, he set out for the shore. But alas I 
his strength failed, and, after a brave struggle, he and the man 
he bore sank down in the mighty waters and were seen no 
more John, the elder brother, was more fortunate. He found 
employment in the Hudson Bay Company. Being a man of 


much shrewdness and of indomitable pluck and perseverance, he 
soon rose to high position, and did great service in establishing 
trading ports and exploring the country. The Stuart Lake and 
Stuart River, which has recently been so often noticed in con- 
nection with the Klondyke Gold Country, are called after him. 
Mr John Stuart was for some years chief factor of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. He died at Springfield House, Forres, in 1847, 
having directed in his will that he should be ** interred in the 
tomb of his ancestors in the Parish Church-Yard of Abemethy, 
south-east comer of the Church." 

Early in the twenties there were four James's, born in the 
parish, whose fortunes are worthy of notice. Jambs Stewart 
was the son of Lieutenant J. Stewart, 78th Regiment, P3rtoulish. 
He became a cotton planter in South America, and died at St 
Joseph, Mississippi, in 1896. 

James Forsyth was the son of William Forsyth, Dell of 
Abernethy, for twenty years manager of the Seafield Woods and 
Wood Manufactures. He entered the Caledonian Bank as Clerk 
in 1839. In 1845 he went to Ceylon, where he was employed for 
five years as a coffee plantation manager. His health failing, he 
returned home, and in 1854 he entered into the employment of 
the Wolverhampton and Stafibrdshire Banking Company. In 
1864 he was appointed manager, which office he held till 1895, 
when the Bank was amalgamated with the Birmingham and 
District Companies Bank. On his retirement he was presented 
by leading men in Wolverhampton and neighbourhood with a 
handsome silver bowl, a purse of 400 sovereigns, and an illumin- 
ated album and address. 

James Charles Gordon was the eldest son of Captain 
Gordon, Revack, by his first wife, Margaret Knight. He entered 
the Queen's service, as Ensign in the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, 
in 1839 ; subsequently he sold out, and in 1847 he was appointed 
to the 4th Bengal Native Infantry. He served in the Punjab in 
1849, and died at Wazirabad in 1852. Two of his brothers also 
served in the army — Robert, who rose to be second in command 


of the 2nd Sikh Infantry, and died at Dhurmsala in [S6o; and 
Benjamin Lumsden, born 1833, who entered the Madras Artillery, 
1852, and in 1863 joined the Royal Artillery. He served through 
the Indian Mutiny, receiving the medal with clasp. He also 
served in the Afghan war, 1879-80, and commanded in I/)wer 
Burmah in the Expedition of 1886-87, receiving the thanks 
of the Government and the medal with clasp. He commanded 
the Burma District during the Chin Lushai Expedition in 
1890, and was specially mentioned in despatches, and granted 
the Distinguished Service Reward. He retired as Lieutenant- 
General in 1890, and was made K.C.B. in 1898. 

James Dawson Macdonald was the eldest son of Captain 
Macdonald, Coulnakyle. He was educated at Abemethy, 
Grantown, and Aberdeen, and obtained a Cadetship in 1836. 
He served in the Gwalior and Rajpootana Campaigns. He was 
quartered at Neemuch when the Mutiny (1857) occurred, and 
his escape, as he used to tell, was due to the loyalty of two 
Sepoys, who, alone of 1000 men, remained faithful to their 
colours. Alas! they sealed their devotion with their blood. 
General Macdonald afterwards tried to discover their families, 
but failed. 

" Soon after the mutiny, the Government resolved to raise a corps of Meenas, and 
the carrying out of this resolution fell to Captain Macdonald. The Meenas are 
described in official documents as a lawless hill tribe, by nature turbulent, independ- 
ent, and vagabond. Plunderers by profession, they had long been known as daring 
and expert robbers. Sir William Sleeman pronounced them irreclaimable, and 
according to him they pursued the crime of dacoity more systematically than any 
other Indian tribe. But they were tall, handsome, athletic, and brave ; and, though 
well known to be bloodthirsty and revengeful, they were believed to be sensible of 
kindness, obedient to their leaders, and proud of their descent. Out of this raw 
material there was raised a force about 1000 strong, now known as the Deolee 
Irregulars, but long spoken of more familiarly as 'Macdonald's Meenas.* Many 
inspecting generals have said that no body of men so well illustrates the Indian 
irregular system as this Deolee force, which is, moreover, believed to afford * the 
only instance of native Indians trained into skilful tank-diggers, gardeners, carpenters, 
builders, and artists, as well as loyal and smart sepoys/ not inferior in drill and 
discipline to any native regiment of the line. They built not only a Hindoo temple 


for themselves, but a liandsome Christian chapel for the Europeans resident in the 
station. Their chief works of utility, however, consisted in the erection of such 
things as tanks, wells, durbar- rooms, guard-rooms, and hospitals. General Maodonald 
had an extraordinary influence over the minds and affections of these men, yet he 
might perhaps be called eccentric in his management of them. He regarded them as 
he regarded his own Highland ancestors — Highland robbers, as he knew them some- 
times to be called. They became a Meena clan, of which he was the chief. Looting, 
and lying, and insults to women he punishe<1 with merciless severity ; but he had no 
irksome punishments, and no wearisome rules as to all sorts of petty details. He 
had a judicious way of letting the men alone. They were dressed like French 
Zouaves, but they wore the Glengarry cap. He thought all Highlanders must love 
the bagpipes, to the music of the force was played, and welt played, on that instru- 
ment. His six pipers wore plaids of Macdonald turt^n. The penants from the drones 
were embroidered in Edinburigh, and carried on them the SCacdonald crest. The 
force marched to the ' Pibroch o' Donuil Dim,' and the piper- in-chief bore the name 
of Fassifern. General Maodonald entered thoroughly into the ways and frelings of 
his men, and in return they proved faithful to him and jealous of the honour of the 
corps to which they belonged. It is a common story that when exhorted by an 
eloquent miBsionary to embiuce Christianity, they informetl him that they were 
ready to be converted on the spot if the Colonel Sahib would [lass the order." — thSff 

General Macdonald died in London, 25th December, 1879. He 
left three sons— Dougan, Major in the Qist Highlanders, was 
accidentally killed by the fall of his horse in Hyde Park in 1893 ; 
and Claude, after distinguished service in India, Egypt, and 
Africa, is now Her Majesty's Representative in China. 

Abemethy can claim two distinguished soldiers, who, though 
not born amongst us, were by family and residence nearly con- 
nected with the parish, and delighted to call themselves 
" Grandsons of the Manse." 

Field-Marshal Sir D0NA1.D Martin Stewart, Bart., G.C.B., 
is the son of the late Captain Robert Stewart of Clachglas, 
Kincardine. Captain Stewart was married at the Manse, in 
1 82 1, to a daughter of the then minister, the Rev. Donald 
Martin. He was of the Stewarts of Fincastle, but his family had 
resided for several generations at Kincardine. Some time after 
his marriage he removed to Dyke, near Forres, and Sir Donald 
was born there in 1824. He was educated mainly at Dufftown and 


Elgin. In 1839 he gained a bursary at King's College, Aberdeen, 
and passed through the classes of 1839-40 with distinction. In 
1840 he obtained a cadetship through his uncle. Sir Ranald 
Martin, the great Indian surgeon. His career was for a long 
time confined to Regimental StaflF duty, and he was deemed one 
of the smartest adjutants in the Bengal Army. During the 
Mutiny he came to the front, and gained much honour for his 
heroic conduct in carrying despatches to Delhi. He went 
through the Siege of Delhi, the Capture of Lucknow, and the 
subsequent Campaign in Rohilcund. He commanded a Brigade 
in the Abyssinian Campaign, and was appointed to the com- 
mand of the force which invaded Southern Afghanistan in 1869. 
On the occupation of Candahar he administered that province 
with marked sagacity and success. He subsequently commanded 
the Army in Northern Afghanistan until the evacuation of 
Cabul and the withdrawal to India. His splendid victory at 
Ahmedkeyl, his disinterestedness in giving place to General 
Roberts, who won much fame by his glorious march from 
Cabul, and his distinguished services as Commander-in-Chief 
in India, and as member of the Indian Council, are well known. 
Sir Donald is at present Governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. 
Major-General Andrew Aldcorn Munro spent the first 
fourteen years of his life at the Manse, receiving his principal 
education at the Parish School. He was for some time appren- 
ticed with the late Dr Creyk at Grantown, being succeeded by 
another Strathspey man, who served with much distinction in 
India, China, Sierra Leone, and Paris during the Siege, and was 
honoured with knighthood in the Jubilee year — Surgeon -General 
Sir Charles Gordon. General Munro had always a grateful 
recollection of his early days, and he shewed his strong 
attachment to Abernethy by generous remembrance of the 
poor, and by giving handsome prizes for the encouragement 
of Secondary Education. General Munro went to India in 
1846, when he was 20 years of age. After spending some years 
in the army, he was transferred to the Civil Department of the 


Punjab Commission in 1855, where he served for 25 jears under 
some of the most distinguished Frontier Oflficers— as Sir Herbert 
Edwardes, Colonel Taylor, C.B., C.S.I., and Major James — rising 
through all the grades to the higher. The following notice 
of his services is taken from the Punjab Gazette of 2nd 
December, 1880, where it was published by order of the Hon. the 
Lieut -Governor Sir Robert Egerton. This is the enclosure 
referred to by Mr Ruskin, and the sentence underscored by him 
is given in italics : — 

** On the occMion of the retirement of Colonel Andrew Munro, the lieutenant- 
Governor desires to place upon record his high estimation of the services of this 
officer, whose long and honourable career has been spent in most arduous and 
respouHible post of frontier administration. Coming to India in 1846, Colonel Munro 
was appointed to the Punjab Commission in 1856 ; he became Deputy Commissioner 
in 1859, and at various times in the courw of the next twelve yiears held charge 
of every U>rder district from Hazara to Dera Gbaisi Khan. In 1863, when Deputy 
Commissioner uf Peshawar, he was preHent throughout the Ambeyla Campaign, for 
his services in which, as Political Assistant to Colonel Reynell Taylor, C.B., he 
received the special thanks and acknowledgments of Government. He became 
Commissioner and Superintendent of the Derajat Division in 1871, and, with sliort 
intervals of s{)ecial political duty, has held this important office ever since. In the 
leorganisationof Frontier Militia, the new an-angements for the better administration 
of the Tank Valley, the enforcement of tribal responsibity for guarding the passes, 
and in other important measures introduced ^^ithin the past few years to secure the 
peaee of the Derajat border, and improve our relations with its wild hill dans, and 
also in the final settlement of Khelat affairs, and the events which led to the 
appointment of a British Agent at Quetta, Colonel Munro's long experience, sound 
judgment, and thorough knowledge of border tril)e«, Biluch and Pathan, have proved 
of the utmost value and assistance to Government. H%» career covers a period in 
which the work of the gradual par.ificaivon of the frontier hat made notable pro^reu ; 
wild and independent clang hax'e been taught to retpect and fear Government^ and ow 
own tubjeetSf once lawlest and turfjulenty have fettled down into <iuiet and peaceful 
cultivator 8. This happy change has been due to the ability and unwearied seal with 
which the policy of Government has been carried out by a succession of distinguished 
officers, among whose names that of Colonel Munro will be remembered with 
honour, both by the Government he has so loyally served, and by the border tribes, 
whose affairs he has so long and so ably administered." 

Our parish has continued to g^ve some of its best blood to 
other lands. We have sent bankers to England, farmers to 


Ireland, and parsons to every county in the Highlands. 
We have sent settlers to Canada and the United States, 
shepherds to Fiji, stock-keepers to New Zealand, gold diggers 
to Australia, diamond merchants to Africa, doctors to the 
army and the navy, and soldiers to fight our cause in all 
parts of the world. Wherever men speaking the English tongue 
have toiled and bled, there might be found Halbert Glendinnings 
who claimed kin with us, as having been born on the banks of 
the Nethy, and brought up under the shadow of Cairngorm. 
True, all who have gone forth from us have not prospered. 
Some have been cut oflF by disease, some have fallen in battle, 
and some have become the victims of folly and sin, or like ships 
that foundered at sea, have been never more heard of. 

" Some sink outright, 
O'er them, and o'er their names the billows close, 
To-morrow knows not they were bom. 
Others a short memorial leave behind 
Like a flag floating when the bark's engulphed : 
It floats a moment and is seen no more. 
One Caesar lives — a thousand are forgot." 




It is a common remark that the kind of people called " Char- 
acters " are becoming fewer and fewer. This seems the natural 
effect of education, and of the constantly increasing intercourse 
between all parts of the country. As Tennyson sings, "The 
individual withers, and the world is more and more." Even in 
our remote Highland glens the change is felt. The old " Char- 
acters" that gave romance and interest to a district are dying 
out, and they have no successors. In our parish we have had to 
lament the passing away of not a few of this class within the 
last sixty years. John Fraskr, Tulloch, commonly called 
"The Doire," might be taken as representing the "Bards." He 
belonged to the Balliefurth Frasers, and claimed kin with the 
late Colonel Malcolm Eraser of Quebec. He received a fair 
education, and when a young man paid a visit to his cousins in 
Canada, but he soon returned. Having learnt the trade of an 
upholsterer in London, and being an excellent workman, he 
might have done well if he had settled in one of the towns ; but 
he was never happy save when his foot was on his native heather. 
Again and again he came back, from working excursions, to his 
" humble hut" in the wilds of Tulloch ; and there he spent his 
latter days, struggling against poverty and the growing infirmities 
of age with a sturdy spirit of independence. He was remarkable 
for his strong attachments. Nothing vexed him more than the 
changes which were being introduced into the country for the 
advantage of sportsmen and strangers without regard for the 
people. He mused much on these things, and as the fire burned 
he would pour forth his feelings in indignant letters to sundry 
high personages, and, at times, in passionate bursts of song. 


His eccentricity had a dash of genius, and his poetical pieces, 
mostly in Gaelic, had very considerable merit "The Doire" 
had a great fund of local traditions and stories, and was a good 
genealogist. The changes in the country in his time had been 
so great, that he used to say ** he had lived in two worlds." 
During his stay in England he had acquired a certain air of 
distinction. His accent was good, and his talk intelligent, " with 
something of a lofty utterance dressed." His stately step wDuld 
have attracted notice anywhere. Latterly he kept a donkey, 
which he called his ** Jerusalem pony " ; and, as he always wore 
a black coat and hat, and had a grave and reverend aspect, he 
might have been taken for some Rabbi on his travels. Once, 
when slowly riding past Nethy Bridge, some schoolboys tried to 
frighten the ass, but " The Doire," quietly patting him on the 
cheek, said, ** Friend, don't be disturbed ; it's only your brother." 
One of his poems was entitled " The Child of Destiny." It told 
his own story. The moral was that of the old poet Daniel: 
*• Unless above himself he can erect himself, how poor a thing 
is man." 

It was customary at one time for tradesmen of various kinds 
to go round amongst the people, stopping for work here and 
there as they were required. Thus there were the cobbler, the 
saddler, the jobbing tailor, and so on. One of the best repre- 
sentatives of the latter class was NiKL Grant, of Glenbroun, 
who claimed to be the Cean-tighe of the Achemack family. He 
had served in the army (42nd Regiment), and was stationed 
for some time at Gibraltar. Subsequently he started business 
in London as a master tailor, and was doing well ; but his health 
gave way, and he had to seek new strength in his native air. 
One of Niel's favourite haunts was the Dell. Here he had an 
attic to himself, where he plied his trade, making and mending 
the boys' clothes with greet zest and skill. In the evening he 
always had visitors, and charmed them, especially the young 
folks, with his tales of soldiering, and of the wonders of 
Gibraltar— the impregnable fortifications ; the mysterious caves. 


and the strange monkeys that lived on the upper part of the 
rock, and which were said to have come across, under sea, from 
Barbary. At times he would relax to have a turn at his favourite 
game of draughts, of which he was a master ; but his greatest 
delight was an excursion with " the boys " on the Saturday to 
troll on the Spey for pike— ** Jack," as he called them in the 
English way— or to fish for trout on the Dorback or the Nethy. 
Nights with Niel were much liked, and it is worth noting the 
beneficial effect which the society of such a man, who had 
travelled and seen something of the world, but was unchanged 
in his integrity, modesty, and love of home, had upon the young 
people and others with whom he came in contact. 

Murdoch Mackenzie, Garlin, was a weaver, but his chief 
trade was in midwifery. Hence he was C2L\\ed]MurracA-nam-dan, 
He was said to have a " gift,'* which had come into the family 
far back from the Fairies, for some service rendered to them. 
When called in, he pretended to relieve women in labour by 
taking their pains on himself. He would stroke the patient's 
hands, and then lie down in front of the fire, and roll and roar 
as if in agony. His sufferings seemed to increase as things 
reached their climax. Many people had faith in him, and he 
was sent for from far and near. But some had doubts as to his 
sincerity. It was said he had been seen tickling his throat with 
a feather, and using other arts to bring on the appearance of 
sickness and labour. One curious story is told of him. He had 
been called in a bad case to Glenmore, and was making his way 
there riding on his white pony. The husband who had sum- 
moned him was eager, and urged him again and again to make 
haste, lest his wife should be dead before they reached. 
Murdoch at last lost patience, and turning upon the man in a 
rage, he said, >\dth one of his horrid grimaces, ** On you be the 
painsr According to report, the poor man had to lie down in 
the heather in great distress, and the spell was not taken off till 
the woman was delivered. Pennant in his Tour (17 12) refers to 


a similar belief that prevailed at one time in the west. ** nothing 
less than that the midwife had the power of transferring part 
of the primeval curse from the good wife to her husband. I saw," 
he says, ** the reputed offspring of such labour, who kindly came 
into the world without giving her mother the least uneasiness 
while the poor husband was roaring with agony in his uncouth 
and unnatural pains." 

The Pensioners were formerly an important class. Many a 
long winter night was enlivened by their talk, and many a 
youthful heart stirred to martial ardour by their tales of ** moving 
accidents by flood and field." Among others well known 
were Sergeant Rattray, 78th Regiment, Duncan Grant, elder, 
79th Highlanders, who had a medal with six clasps for 
services in the Peninsular War; and Sergeant Roy (Grant) 
of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, who had served under 
Abercromby and Moore, and thought them better soldiers 
than Wellington. Sergeant Roy was one of the men who 
helped to carry Moore from the field of Corunna, and the 
tears used to run down the veteran's cheeks as he told of 
the death of his beloved General. He was also present when 
Abercromby received his fatal wound. Dr Brown, in '' Hora 
SubseciviE'^ gives an interesting reminiscence of the glorious 
victory of Alexandria. When the dying General was being 
carried on a litler to the boat of the Foudroyant he was in great 
pain. **Sir John Macdonald (afterwards Adjutant-General) put 
something under his head. Sir Ralph smiled, and said — * That 
is a comfort ; that is the very thing. What is it, John ? ' * It is 
only a soldier's blanket. Sir Ralph.' * Only a soldier's blanket. 
Sir,' said the old man, fixing his eye severely on him. * Whose 
blanket is it ? ' * One of the men's.' ' I wish to know the name 
of the man whose this blanket is ' — and everything paused till he 
was satisfied. * It is Duncan Roy's, of the 42nd, Sir Ralph.' 
* Thai see that Duncan Roy gets his blanket this very nighty and 
wearied and content, the soldier's friend was moved to bis death- 


Another pensioner, who lived at a later date, was J AMES Grant, 
Rivoan, of the 79th Regiment. He enlisted at a Figgat Fair, in 
1804, when only 16. His first engagement was at Copenhagen, 
1807. Subsequently he served throughout the Peninsular War, 
and received a medal and three clasps for Corunna, Busaco, and 
Fuentes d*Onor. In the latter battle he was brought to the 
ground by a ball in the leg, but he managed to get upon his 
knee, and to discharge his musket at the French. This he used 
to call his farewell shot. On coming home, he married and 
settled at Rivoan. His wife, Elsie Grant, was one of the great 
beauties of the parish. The others were Margaret M*Int> re, wife 
of John Black, Clachaig, and Jane Blair, wife of Grigor Cameron, 
Tulloch. Mr Martin used to say of the latter pair that they 
were the handsomest couple he had ever married, and during 
his pastorate of upwards of fifty years he must have married 
hundreds. Marriages were then performed in Church. Rivoan 
died in 1876. He was then, perhaps, the oldest pensioner in the 
British Army— 181 2-1876. 

The Beggars were another class, belonging to the olden time. 
There were not a few of them who made their rounds from time 
to time, and at certain farms they knew that there was a bed 
for them in the bam, and a welcome at the kitchen fire. Gii,bert 
Stewart was one of them. He claimed a certain respect from 
his name, and from having been an old soldier. He lived to be 
over 100, and latterly had to be carried about in a cart or 
barrow. Captain Ferguson was a grey-headed tar. His 
distinction was that he had fought under Nelson, and that he 
had a silver plate on his head to cover a hole made by a bullet 
King John was another curious character. He dressed 
fantastically with a hat decorated with peacock feathers, and 
used to carry a wooden sword. Another character, better known 
in the low country, was Mad Chai«mers. He dressed decently, 
with long hair hanging in curls, and speckled buckles fixed with 
pins on his collar. He claimed to be of the same spirit as John 


the Baptist. One day when holding forth, he was interrupted 
by another wanderer, Eppie Laing, who cried out, ** I see noo 
what the Almichty never seed." Chalmers shook his head at 
such impiety, but Eppie answered, ** It's true at ony rate, for I 
see my ain equal (you're a feel, and am anither), a thing the 
Almichty never seed." ** Wonnerfu' woman !" said Chalmers. 
Another beggar of a somewhat diflFerent type was a man whose . 
name was not known, but who was called after one of his songs, 
** Philip O'Sogan." He used generally to come to the Dell on a 
Saturday, and stayed over Sunday. He was well educated, and 
always had some books. He claimed to be a poet, and used to 
say that now that Bums and Ramsa}'^ were gone, he was one of 
the only Scottish bards left ! It was a peculiarity with him to 
dislike heat, and he used to keep as far back as possible from the 
fire-place, sitting upon a meal girnel, but when he sang he stood 
on the floor, and made the rafters ring with ** Fye let us all to 
the Bridal," and other songs. He spoke remarkably good 
English with a good accent. Once on a cold wintry day he was 
offered a dram by the mistress of the house, and asked how he 
would take it. His answer was, ** In its pristine purity," which 
became a saying in the country. Another time he was asked 
if he would have some gooseberries. ** Thank you, madam," he 
said, "I should like much to have some, they are considered 
a good aperient." And to g^ve one reminiscence more of 
poor old Philip. On a certain Sabbath he was seen by 
the lady of the house reading a newspaper, and she gently 
reproved him, but Philip answered calmly, •* Madam, I cannot 
see that there is any more harm in my reading a newspaper on 
Sunday than in your giving orders to your cook as to the dishes 
for dinner." Peter Mackintosh, called Peter Bain, was a 
celebrated piper and violin player. He came of a family eminent 
for musical talent. His father, bom in TuUoch, gained the office 
of piper to Sir James Grant at a public competition, and others 
before him had a reputation as musicians, Peter, therefore, had 


the advantage of good training, and not only possessed a 
wonderful stock of excellent tunes, but could play them in a 
style which Niel Gow or Wandering Willie, ** the best fiddler 
that ever kittled thaimi wi* horse-hair," could hardly have 
surpassed. None that heard him in his prime can forget the 
spirit and magic power of his ** TuUochgorm," '* Highland 
Donald kissed Katie," and other favourites. Some sixty yeais 
ago there were few Highland parishes that could boast of such 
society as Abemethy, and there was much pleasant intercourse 
between all classes. Peter used to get a boll of meal annually 
from each of the principal families, and for this he made due 
return by playing at Harvest Homes and other festivities, and 
by giving a "spring" to the young folks now and again on 
a Saturday evening. On special occasions Peter showed 
wonderful tact in the tunes he selected. When the gentlemen 
came in from dinner he would play ** The Bottom of the Punch 
Bowl." In compliment to Captain Gordon, he would give ** The 
Bonnie Wife o' Revack," and to gratify Captain Macdonald, 
Coulnakyle, he would strike up " Mullochard's Dream." He 
always finished with the Gaelic air, **Mhuintir mo ghaol, 
thugaibh am bruach oirbh" (** Dear people, it is time to take to 
the hill"), which agrees with the Scottish tune ** Good Nicht." 
Peter was a man of an honest and kindly heart. He had the 
appearance of simplicity, but behind there was considerable 
shrewdness and a sort of dry humour which flashed out some- 
times in sayings still remembered. At the time of "the 
rejoicings" on the late Master of Grant visiting the country, a 
ball was given at the Dell in his honour. When the Master 
retired, a party of Highlanders with torches, and Peter as piper, 
escorted him to the house. He asked for a last reel on the green, 
and when this was over he bade all good-night, and turning to 
Peter, with that graceful courtesy which won all hearts, he said, 
shaking his hand warmly, ** Peter, you have done well ; I am 
much obliged to you." Peter's heart was full He tried to 


answer, but words failed. He could only say, **Sir, sir," and 
then with a gasp, " I canna speak !" The Master used to say it 
was the best speech he ever heard. The scene realised the 
words of Shakespeare: — **Ouly my blood speaks to you in my 
veins,'' and ** Love» therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity in 
heart, speaks most, to my capacity." Peter lived to be upwards 
of 80, and died in 1873. His Iffe was quiet and inoffensive, and 
his latter days marked by genuine if unobtrusive piety. There 
are some Abernethy boys still surviving, in whose hearts his 
name will awaken kindly thoughts and dear memories of home 
and of the happy days of "'Auld Lang Syne." 





It was a sweet spring day, the 12th of March, 1820. The Parish 
Church was vacant, for Mr John had died in the month of 
January. Mr Peter Grant, Balintua, Baptist minister, commonly 
called " Peter Brachtair," was holding an open-air service at 
Straanbeg, a little meadow lying between the Nethy and the 
high bank that borders the Dell Road. There, under the shade 
of a great fir, the preacher stood, and round about and beneath 
him the people were gathered together. Mr Grant was an able 
and popular preacher, and in Gaelic was considered a master. 
His sermon, as usual, was highly evangelical, and though long, 
it was listened to with rapt attention to the end. The last psalm 
was being sung, to the dear sacramental tune of Coleshill, and 
the voices of the great congregation, rising and falling with each 
line, made grave sweet melody, all the more solemn and 
impressive, as accompanied by the music of the waters, and the 
murmur of the wind among the trees. But before the close, it 
became clear that something unusual had happened. There 
were signs of distraction. At the outskirts of the crowd, people 
might be observed eagerly conversing, and in some mysterious 
way the excitement spread all round. When the benediction 
had been pronounced, freedom was restored. There was an 
immediate buzz of talk. Groups were formed here and there, 
evidently discussing some news of great importance. Let us 
join one of these groups. ** What has happened?" said Robert 
Murray, Causair, to Serjeant Roy. The Serjeant, as already 
noted, had fought in Egypt and Spain, and was a man of mark 
in the parish. His answer was, " 1*11 tell you all about it as we 
go along. You know that there has been bitter strife for a long 


time between the Grants and the Duffs as to politics, and it has 
come to a head about the election of a member of Parliament for 
the burghs. Elgin is the returning burgh this time, and things 
are in a bad way. The Whigs are just mad. Grant Lodge is in 
a state of siege, and Lady Anne is in danger of her life. The 
rascals have already kidnapped good Bailie Taylor, and shipped 
him off to Sutherland, and in their desperation they may do 
worse. Word has gone forth, therefore, to call out the Clan. 
There was a letter this forenoon from Congash to Mr Forsyth of 
the Dell, and the big Dubhlach has been out ever since, on Mr 
Forsyth's horse Marquis, warning the Abernethy men. The 
order is to meet at Nethy Bridge at 6 o'clock. It makes my old 
blood warm to think of it." ** And are we to take guns and 
swords ?" ** No, no ; nothing of that sort, only sticks ; so we 
had better be off to dinner, for we have a long tramp before us.*' 
** Yes, but not as bad as Corunna !" ** Little you know of 
Corunna, and yet there were weak women who went through all 
the horrors of that time." 

Before six o'clock, some 150 men had mustered at Nethy 
Bridge. Captain Grant, Birchfield, and Mr Forsyth explained to 
them how things stood, and gave them words of counsel as to 
their behaviour. Then in silence, as became the Sabbath, the 
start was made. Past the church, and down by Balliefurth and 
Achernack, they marched steadily on. At Spey Bridge they 
were joined by some men from the Braes and the east end of the 
Parish. Through Cromdale and Advie they passed in the dark- 
ness, and by the time they had reached the Drum of Carron, it 
was near midnight At Aberlour they rested, and had some 
refreshment. Then as the clock struck twelve, and the 
Sabbath was past, Mr Forsyth said to Peter Bain, "Peter, 
you might now give us a tune to cheer us." Peter was 
nothing loth, and struck up **The Haughs of Cromdale." 
Then having mustered again, they marched down the 
street to the spirit-stirring strains of the " Highland Laddie." 
The unwonted sounds startled many of the townsfolk from their 


slumbers. Windows were drawn, doors cautiously opened, and 
faces were seen here and there peering out, in wonder and 
alarm. Telford's iron bridge, then one of the wonders of the 
Strath, was crossed, and as they halted for a minute under the 
shadow of the rock, they made the woods ring with their battle 
cry. Stand fast, Craigellachie ! Then on they went through 
Rothes, and the Glen, and down by Longmorn, till they could 
see the towers of the Cathedral and the smoke of Elgin rising 
near. On the outskirts of the town they were met by friends, 
who took them round by the quietest way to Grant Lodge. The 
time was critical, and it was considered prudent to avoid the 
principal streets, and to guard against giving provocation to 
their opponents. Two incidents may be mentioned as indicating 
the temper of the Elgin people. One young fellow was loud in 
his menaces and jeers, swinging his staff in the faces of the 
Highlanders. At last, a man called ** Allie Meenie" stepped 
out, snatched his stick from him, and sent him staggering into 
the gutter. At another point, as John Grant of Lynbreck used 
to tell, an old wife stood by the roadside, crying ** Lord Fife for 
ever!** Provoked by her pertinacity, one of the Highlanders 
gave her a push, bidding her be quiet. She stumbled and fell, 
but getting up quickly, she shouted louder ihan before, ** Lord 
Fife for ever! Lord Fife for ever!** "Well done, Cailleach/* 
some of the men cried, for they could not but admire her 

The Cromdale men had been the first to arrive about 3 a m., 
then later came the Abernethy men, and last the men of Duthil, 
and when they were all mustered, there must have been more 
than 600 on the ground. It was a brave sight, and Lady Anne's 
heart swelled with pride and delight. Here were 600 men, and 
others were on their way from Glen-Urquhart, strong and 
resolute, ready, if need be, to fight to the death for their beloved 
Chieftainess. But happily no fighting was needed. Enough 
had been done. The demonstration made was sufficient, and 
would not be forgotten for many a day. The men, therefore^ 


were hospitably entertained, thanked for their devotion and 
good services, and counselled to return quietly to their homes, 
iiut two bright incidents must not be left out. I^dy Anne had 
a young Highland lady of much grace and beauty staying with 
her at Grant Lodge, Miss Christina Macleod of Drynoch, who in 
the August following was to become the wife of Mr Charles 
i^rdon of Forres. When the first of the Highlanders appeared 
there was tremendous noise and shouting in the town, and Lady 
Anne misapprehending the uproar, feared that it was the Elgin 
roughs who were coming, and almost fainted. But Miss Macleod, 
whose quick ear had caught the sound of the pipes, soon cheered 
^r, saying, " Don't you hear the pipes, it's your own people. 
Hurrah !" Miss Macleod could speak Gaelic well, and Lady 
Anne, with the instinct of a true Highlander, asked her to say 
something to the men before they left. When she came out they 
all stood up, and when they heard this charming lady address 
them in the dear tongue of their fathers, they burst into cheers. 
JJnly a fragment of Miss Macleod\s speech has been preserved, 
but It IS significant. With sly humour, she ended with the 
words, - Now, men, take care, or the Elgin shoemakers will prick 
you with their awls !" At this there were shouts of laughter, 
and ringing cheers repeated again and again. All that night and 
morning Elgin was in a state ot fear and trembling, and there 
was good cause. - How great a fire a little spark kindleth." 
And had it not been for wise restraint and prudent management 
on both sides, the spark might have fallen where combustibles 
were plenty, and a fire broken out, which in its ravages would 
have rivalled the sack of Elgin by the Wolf of Badenoch four 
hundred years before. 

But if the anxiety in Elgin was great, the excitement in the 
glens was equally great. Take a sample. Peter Bain's wife was 
of the nervous, timorous sort. She was out and in at the house 
of Rothiemoon, with every fresh bit of news that came to hand 
One time her cry was, '* There's not a man left on Nethy side 
they're all away." -Well," said Mrs Grant, ** it's in a good 


cause." Next, it was, " The armoury is off from Castle Grant." 
'• Better that than to have our men without guns and swords." 
was the reply. Then it was in a voice of despair, ** The Duffs 
have got the soldiers from Fort- George. Ochon 1 it will be as 
bad as Culloden!" But this was too much. " Out of this." said 
the brave good-wife, " and look to your own house and bairns." 
And then, as a parting stroke, "Peter, poor man, will be sore 
needing something good when he comes, he will be tired enough 
with his short legs !" And it was true. It had been a tre- 
mendous tramp, and it was said there were never so many sore 
heels in Abernethy as that night when the men came home from 

The stor\' of the Grant Raid was long remembered in Strath- 
spey. It was ably defended by K. K. (Captain Patrick Cruik- 
shank) in the newspapers ; it was commemorated in song.* and 
it formed a favourite subject of talk at all Ceilidhs. But year by 
year leaders and men passed away. Robert Murray, Tomiasgar ; 
John Macdonald, Balnagown ; Peter Cameron, Old Bridge End : 
Alex. Cameron. Badnaodinn ; and Alex. Grant, Lynebeg, were 
the last of the ** Cearuachs" who sur\'ived. They, too, are gone, 
and now not one remains who had taken part in that famous 

* Sec Ap{KnJix, No!c 14. 




**We will, fair Queen, up to the mountain top" (Shakespeare). 
There are several ways of reaching Cairngorm from Speyside. 
One is by the Rothiemurchus road ; another is by the Slugau of 
Kincardine, and a third is from Nethy-Bridge. Each has its 
advantages. We prefer the last. Without dwelling on details, 
we will note some points of interest by the way, and some of the 
outlying nooks of the hill worth seeing. Half-a-mile above 
Nethy-Bridge is the Iron Mill Croft, celebrated by Sir Thomas 
Dick Lauder.^ At the Dell the Nurseries may be looked at, with 
the Summer Seat, the ingenious work of Mr Stephen, which is 
built up of 1 12 different kinds of wood. The road runs through 
the woods for about two miles, and then turns to the left, joining 
the old Glen Road a little above the Forest Lodge. Rhynettan 
(1325) affords a fine view of the course of the Nethy from the 
dark gorge of the Garvault, down through deep clefts in the 
drift, and winding ways among the muirs and mosses. Between 
the Cromalt and the Nethy, the roofless house of Inchtomach 
stands, sad and solitary, on its sunny knoll, bearing witness, like 
Rinuigh, Rinirich, Rivoan, and other abandoned homesteads, to 
the days that are gone. Inchtomach was long held by the 
Andersons, and the last tenant was Donald Anderson, a tall and 
handsome Highlander, who used to carry the Abernethy Standard 
at the Castle Grant Gatherings. A little beyond Rivoan is 
I/)ch-an-Uaine- This romantic lochan lies in the "Slugan" or 
throat of Glen More, at the entrance from Abernethy. The hills 
rise steeply on each side, but with more breadth on the right, 
where the road passes. The hill on the right is called Creag 

* See Appendix, Note 15. 



Loisgte (the Burnt Hill), and that on the left Crea^ nan Gall ahe 
Lowlander's Hill). These names are descriptive, and, doubtless, 
refer to forgotten incidents of the past. The lochan is oval in 
form, and about 600 yards in circumference. It has neither inlet 
nor outlet, but is fed from underground sources. The water is 
of a delicate green colour and exquisitely clear. Looking down 
from the bank, some 10 or 12 feet, one can watch the tiny trout 
swimming about, and wonder at the strange gathering of logs 


and roots, the relics of ancient forests, that lies in the bottom. 
Between the banks and the water there is a strip of ground which 
in an August day may be found gay with violets, bluebells, and 
St John's Wort, with here and there thistles, dandelions, and 
wild strawberries. If the day be calm, all above and around is 
reflected on the surface of the water with wondrous beauty. The 
tufts of grass, the patches of pujple heath, like clots of blood, the 
pines standing singly or in clumps, the ledges. of rock, with the 


masses of loose stones sloping downwards from the cliflf, the 
clouds, the blue sky, and the glorious sun are all there — 

" For not a feature in those hills 
Is in the mirror slighted." 

So sings Wordsworth of St Mary's Lake. Scott has a similar 
passage ; so has Shelley in his poem, " The Recollections," but 
with a subtlety of thought and felicity of expression beyond 
either of the others. When one looked, as Coleridge has it, 
** with head bent low and cheek aslant," the beauty of the scene 
was marvellously enhanced. The colours took a more delicate 
tint, the sun shone with more chastened radiance. Things were 
in a manner transfigured. It became difficult to distinguish 
between the seeming and the real. The mind itself was caught 
as if in a spell. Fancy ruled. Now the thought was of our 
rude forefathers, and we listened as if for the horn of one of the 
old barons of the glen, or the wild shouts of the caterans as they 
drove their prey through the pass or turned fiercely on their 
pursuers. Anon, other thoughts arose. The scene seemed a 
glimpse of fairyland, and we felt as if it would have been no 
surprise to have heard the fairy maidens lilting ** Crochailan" as 
they milked the deer, or to have seen ** Donald More" himself 
with his elfin band sailing their skiffs on the lake or holding gay 
revels on the green. The question is often asked — What causes 
the greenness of the water? In the " Survey of the Province of 
Moray" ([798) it is said:— ** The rocky banks rise around to a 
great height, and are closely clothed with the ever- verdant pine, 
by the reflection of which the water is a/ways seen 0/ the deepest greai 
colour in every possible situation'^ It is strange that a man so 
shrewd and intelligent as the Rev. Mr Leslie should have com- 
mitted himself to such an opinion. The explanation is not a bit 
better than the old belief that the water is green because the 
fairies washed their clothes in it ! Some twenty years ago Sir 
Robert Christison gave his opinion, as the result of enquiry, that 
pure water was colourless, but Tyndall and Aitken have proved. 


by various experiments, that this is a mistake. The colour of 
distilled water is blue-green. At the same time, owing to matter 
held in suspension or solution, the colour may be greatly varied. 
The Lake of Como is of a deep blue ; the Maggiore is greener. 
Brodick Bay takes a green hue from the grains of yellow sand, 
whereas Loch Lomond is of a brown colour. In Australia a gum 
tree cast into the water will soon tinge it of a fine blue. It may 
be well to notice that there are three other ** green" lochs in the 
Cairngorm district. One is on Ben Muich Dhui, another on 
Cairn Toul, and the third on Cairngorm of Derr>\ The latter is 
the one referred to by William Smith, Rynuie, Abemethy, in his 
fine hunting song (Gaelic) ** AUt an Lochain Uaine." 

From Rivoan there are two routes to Cairngorm— one by the 
Garvault, the other by the Garbhchor. The latter is the better. 
The way by the Gar\'ault is long and dreary, cramped and con- 
fined ; but on the hill there is freedom and openness, bracing air, 
and a delightful play of light and shade. We feel the truth of 
Stevenson's saying, ** There are days when thus to climb out of 
the lowlands seems like scaling heaven." At Eag-Garbhchor in a 
sheltered hollow, may be seen the remains of a shepherd s bothy. 
A little beyond is a huge boulder, which is said one stormy 
winter night to have shifted its position, and to have moved 
higher up I Doubtless it has been a great traveller in its time, 
and this may have been only one of its erratic turns. Foxes 
haunt the Garbhchor. When driven from there, they used to 
cross by Cor-na-spreidh to Bynack, and when they found no rest 
there, they sought refuge in the impregnable fastness of CaochaH- 
fut^Saobhaidh, near the Glasalt, The Eagle's CliflF fStac-na- 
h' lolaire) is a bold, roughly channeled cliflf on the south side of 
Maim Suim (2395), facing Cairngorm. Eagles have built there 
from time immemorial. Once when passing we obser\'ed some 
goats feeding near the foot. Our collie barked at them, when 
they took refuge among the rocks, bounding from ledge to ledge 
with wonderful agility. They soon reached a height from which 
they could look down, as if with contempt, on the dog leaping 


and barking harmlessly far below. The scene called up 
Coleridge's line :— 

** Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest ;" 

and Wordsworth's beautiful picture, **The Eagle's Birth- 
place " : — 

** B^aniiliar with forgotton years that shows 
Inscribed, as with the silence of the thought, 
Upon its bleak and visionar>' sides 
The history of many a winter storm. 
Or obscure records of the path of fire." 

Near this, at Glaic-bhothaifi, is Archie's Cairn. Some eighty years 
ago, two men, Archie Fyfe and Sandy Fraser, commonly called 
** Foxie Fraser," were watching a fox den. Archie's gun went 
off accidentally, and he was mortally wounded. There were 
suspicions of foul play on the part of his comrade, but without 
good reason. The gun was regarded as unlucky, and the party 
carrying the to Sleighich threw it into Loch-ghobhlach. 
As you ascend the hill, two curious effects may be noticed. One 
is the altered appearance of Ben-meadhou. At a distance, the 
paps on the top seem quite close together, but now they not only 
look larger, but seem to have drawn farther apart. The other is, 
that the higher you rise the more you come into sight and com- 
panionship of the great Bens. Those who seek may find a lesson 
in this. The path is now for some distance along the watershed. 
At one place there is a pretty steep bit of climbing, where the 
rocks rise like crow-steps on an old Scottish gable, but for the 
most part the ascent is easy. The chimneys of the Cath-no 
(Mtulachan Chadha-no), lie a little off the track, but should not 
be passed by. These are huge masses of granite seamed and 
worn so that they resemble chimney stalks. They stand at the 
top of the stupendous cliffs that rise wall-like from the deep bed 
oftheOarbh Allt, 

** Precipitous, black, jagged rocks, 
For ever shattered, and the same for ever." 


At one time there were four or more " stalks." Two are said to 
have fallen in the great earthquake of 1816, and at the same time 
the others lost something of their height. 

Another interesting point is Margaret's Corrie (^Cisd Mhearad) 
This corrie lies on the south east shoulder of the hill, away from 
the sun. It is notable as one of the places where snow lies 
longest. Even in the hottest summer it does not altogether 
disappear. \ small stream runs in at the top, and gradually 
wears a way for itself. From the force of the water below, and 
the melting of the snow above, the channel is widened, till a 
sort of tunnel is formed some ten feet in height and more than a 
hundred feet in length. Once when there in the month of 
August, we were able to enter at the bottom, and pass up and 
out at the top. The gloom and the chilliness and the closeness 
of the overarching snow gave quite a sepulchral character to the 
place, corresponding to its name of " Margaret's Coffin." Who 
Margaret was is not known. One stor>' is that the corrie was the 
haunt long ago of some wretched hag who had been driven from 
society for her crimes, and that here she herded a flock of goats 
and found a grave. Another legend connects the place with 
the Witch of Moy, commemorated in Moritt's Ballad. It is 
curious that there is a corrie in Badenoch with the same name 
and similar traditions. The path beyond this is covered with 
smooth, elastic turf, pleasant to walk on as a Turkey carpet. 
Further on there are reaches of coarse sand, channelled here and 
there by the snow torrents. Then there are loose masses of 
granite lying about in wild confusion. The vegetation is scant>'. 
Here and there are tufts of grass and dwarf willow, with patches 
of thrift and sometimes broad carpets of moss campion gay with 
its pretty purple blossoms. This is the favourite haunt of the 
ptarmigan. They may be seen running about among the rocks 
and boulders, and if started, they shift to some other part of the 
hill, or make a splendid flight across the Garbhault to Bynack or 
Benmeadhon. Sometimes there comes a sudden change of 
temperature. Snow or hail falls, and the effect of the sunshine 


Oil the glittering slopes is very beautiful. Or mist may gather, 
boiling up white and sulphurous from the corries, and wrapping 
the mountains in gloom, while now and again the peaks of 
Carn-toul and Bynack stand out like giants glaring fiercely at 
the strangers who invade their territories. We remember 
Wordsworth's saying ** I would not give the mists that spiritualise 
our mountains for all the blue skies of Italy." Sometimes 
under favourable circumstances the Spectre of the Brocken is 
seen. Sir Thomas Dick I^auder describes such an appearance 
(*' Edinburgh New Philosophic Journal, 1831.") ** On descend- 
ing from the top (of Ben Muic Dhui) at about half-past three p.m., 
an interesting optical appearance presented itself to our view. 
We had turned towards the east, and the sun shone on our 
backs, when we saw a very bright rainbow described on the 
mist before us. The bow, of beautifully distinct prismatic 
colours, formed about two-thirds of a circle, the extremities of 
which appeared to rest on the lower portion of the mountain. 
In the centre of this incomplete circle there was described a 
luminous disc, surrounded by the prismatic colours displayed in 
concentric rings. On the disc itself, each of the party (three in 
number), as they stood about fifty yards apart, saw his own 
figure most distinctly delineated, although those of the other 
two were invisible to him. The representation appeared of the 
natural size, and the outline of the whole person of the spectator 
was most correctly portrayed. To prove that the shadow seen 
by each individual was that of himself, we resorted to various 
gestures, such as waving our hats, flapping our plaids, &c., all 
which motions were exactly followed by the airy figure. We 
then collected together, and stood as close to one another as 
possible, when each could see three shadows in the disc ; his 
own as distinctly as before, while those of his two companions 
were but faintly discernible." The Marquis's Well is a favourite 
place for luncheon. The behaviour of people at the top of the 
hill varies greatly. Some are quiet, others noisy. Some are 
disappointed, while others seem as if they could not be satisfied 


with seeing. The deeper feelings of the soul in such a scene are 
strikingly described by Wordsworth — 

** Sottnd needed none, 
Nor any voice of joy ; his spirit drank 
The spectacle. . . No thanks he breath'd, he 

proferr'd no request ; 
Rapt into still communion that transcends 
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise, 
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power 
That made him ; it was blessedness and love." 

With a clear sky, the view from Cairngorm is wide and varied. 
In the north sparkles the Moray Firth, with the Ord of Caith- 
ness, Ben-Bhraggie in Sutherland, and Ben-W\-\'is in Ross^shire, 
rising proudly beyond. To the west the peerless Ben-Nevis is 
dimly visible. From the east southwards there is a " multi- 
tudinous show of mountains/* among which Loch-na-gar, Cam 
Toul, Ben-Macdui, and in the far distance Ben-y-Gloe are 
notable. Ben-Macdui is about four miles south. It is connected 
with Cairngorm by a broad, grassy ridge, dipping in the centre, 
abounding in springs and brooks. Once when passing the 
savage corries of Cor-an-t* Shneachdaidh and Cor-an-lochan 
with a friend, we had a curious experience. We had stopped to 
** roll the stone, in thunder down the mountain," when we were 
surprised to hear the sound of a pipe. We looked, but could see 
no sign of life. '* Where should this music be ? I' the air, or 
the earth ?" The strain went on. At last we discerned a figure 
perched on the opposite ridge, just on the sky-line, seemingly a 
mile off. 

** This is above all strangeness. 
Upon the crown of the cliff, what thing was that ?" 

We whistled loud and shrill, and waved our hats. The musician 
bowed in return, and then went on with his music. By far the 
grandest sight at Ben Macdui is 

*'The gri.sly rocks that guard 
The infant source of Highland Dee/* 


** The vicinity of some of these summits (Cairn Toul and others) 
to Ben Muic Dhui," says Mr Hill Burton, **has something 
frightful in it Standing on the western shoulder of the hill 
you imagine that you might throw a stone to the top of Brae 
Riach. Yet between these two summits rolls the river Dee ; and 
Brae Riach presents, right opposite to the hill on which you 
stand, a mural precipice, said to be two thousand feet high — an 
estimate which no one who looks on it will be inclined to doubt. 
Brae Riach, indeed, is unlike anything else in Scotland. The 
object that at a distant view it most resembles is Salisbury Crags, 
near Edinburgh, which may serve for a model of the mighty 
mass, such as one sees of a mountain in a Dutchman's garden** 
*' Seldom is the cleft between the two great summits free of 
clouds, which flit hither and thither, adding somewhat to the 
mysterious awfulness of the gulf, and seeming in their motions 
to cause certain deep but faint murmurs, which are in reality 
the mingled sounds of the many torrents which course through 
the glens, far, far below." The Queen in her ** Highland 
Journal" has expressed similar .sentiments, with Her Majest>''s 
characteristic simplicity and naturalness. ** Never shall I forget 
this day, or the impression this very grand scene made upon me ; 
truly sublime and impressive : such solitude !" 

The descent to Loch Avon may be made from Ben Macdui 
by the Garbhuisge, or from Cairngorm by the Coire domhain 
burn, or other of the torrent beds. On the Feith Buidhe there 
is a narrow gully, broken by ledges and falls. On the left side^ 
among the shelving rocks, there is a hole or ** pot," about six 
feet deep, in which the late James Grant, Rivoan, found quite a 
treasure of Cairngorm stones. When Grant discovered the 
" pot," it was full of sand and the dedris of granite and spar. 
On clearing this out he obtained great spoil of crystals of all 
sizes and degrees of purity. Amongst them was one stone of 
enormous size, upwards of 50 lbs. in weight, which was after- 
wards purchased by the Queen for ^50, Sometimes, especially 


after heavy rains, crystals may be picked up on the surface of 
the ground, but these, though good as specimens, are seldom of 
any value. The best stones are got by digging and blasting. 
Experts can tell from the kind of rock and the veins of quartz 
where they are likely to be found. Various places are pointed 
out, such as the Garten and the Sleighich quarries, where valu- 
able finds have been made. There is a strange story told about 
the finding of a ber>'l or aqua marine stone. Some sixty years 
ago a certain woman, who was called Cailleach-nau'Cliuh, ** The 
Carlin of the Stones," came to Abemethy from the Lowlands of 
Banff. She said she had dreamt of finding a precious stone in 
the hill. Perhaps she had heard the legend of the cr>'^tal that 
shepherds had sometimes seen sparkling brilliantly in the cliff 
above I/)ch Avon. Be that as it may, having had her dream, 
she could not rest ; so one summer she set out for Cairngorm. 
Long she sought, but in vain. 

" Time passed on, while still her lonely efforts found 
No recompense. Derided, and at length 
By many pitied as insane of mind." 

But. strange to say, her quest was at last successful. She found 
a splendid beryl. It was about the size of a wine glass, and of 
rare beauty. Through the good offices of the parish minister, a 
purchaser was found, the late Mr Winsloe, Coulnakyle, and the 
widow's purse was filled, and her heart made to sing for joy. 
But the finding of the crystal took such hold of her mind that 
the searching for stones became a passion. Year after year she 
returned, making her home at one of the nearest crofts, and often 
passing nights alone in the Shelter Stone. It was a surprise to 
tourists and visitors to come suddenly on this weird woman 
digging at the foot of some precipice, or searching the bed of 
some winter torrent. Once the late Lord R. and a party fell in 
with her in Glen Avon. Lord R. said he wondered she had 
courage to go about in such a wild place alone. She answered, 
** Why should I be afraid ? I never see anything worse than 

J ox 




myself, and God is as near me here as in the plains." This 
reply recalls the famous saying of Howard ; " The way to heaven 
is as near from Grand Cairo as from England," and the swee 
words of Monica, Augustine's mother, when dying at Ostia, far 
from home and her own' people : " Nothing is far from God.'' 
The Cailleach found many stones, but never again one like the 
beautiful ber>'L One summer she was missed from her accus- 
tomed haunts. l,et us hope that she had found " the pearl of 
great price," and entered into rest. 

Loch Avon is the glory of Cairngorm. It lies in a deep dark 
hollow in the niountain.s, and is about i^ miles in length, and 
little more than a furlong in breadth. *' Loch Avon," says Hill 
Burton, ** is like a fragment of the Alps imported and set down 
in Scotland." The Shelter Stone (" Chlach dhiotC') is at the 
upper end of the loch. It consists of a huge block, that falling 
from the Sticil, the ba.stion crag above, had rested on two other 
stones, and thus formed a sort of cave beneath. The stone is 
about 44 feet in length, 21 feet in breadth, and 22 feet in height. 
It is calculated to weigh 1700 tons. The space available for 
shelter is small, and can accommodate only five or six persons. 
Cordiner .says ** It chills one's blood to enter it" But it is much 
frequented in summer, and is fragrant with the memory of Hogg, 
Wilson, Dick Lauder, and many other distinguished men. Once 
we found it a welcome retreat. It was a calm sultry day in 
July. About noon, when entering the Glen at the Diald (saddle), 
we heard the rumble of distant thunder. Gradually the peals 
became louder and more distinct Looking back from the loch 
.side we .saw a dense black cloud which filled the valley of the 
Avon. It came up slowly and majestically, the lightning 
fla.shing forth now and again and the thunder following fast. 
We stood a while awed and entranced. Then we made haste for 
the Shelter Stone. Just as we reached our haven the storm 
overtook us. The thunder cloud seemed to dash and break 
against the massive beetling brow of the Sticil. The gloom and 
the turmoil became fearful. 



'' From peak to peak the rattling crags among 
Leaps the live thunder, 
Not from one lone cloud, 
But ever>' mountain now has found a tongue." 

The rain fell in torrents. We remembered the words of the 
Psalm, ** The voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the God of 
glor>' thundereth. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The 
voice of the Lord is full of majesty." By and by the rain 
ceased. The air grew sweet and calm, and the lake gleamed in 
serene beauty. But still 

*• The cataracts blow their trumpets from the deep, 
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng." 

The return from Loch Avon may be by the Larig. The Baras 
of Bynack, huge granite masses, resembling bams or granaries, 
are well worthy of a visit. They bear testimony to the 
tremendous denudation and changes that were wrought in 
ancient times by the combined agencies of frost and fire and the 
waters of primeval seas. About Bynack, often in the moor 
l>etween Big and Little Bynack, and lower down by the Nethy 
herds of deer may be seen. It is a pretty sight to watch the 
movements of a herd when started— first their outlook, then 
their clustering together, and then their gallant flight, with a 
loud clattering of hoofs and horns, led by the antlered monarch 
of the glen. Some might be inclined to moralise like the 
melancholy Jaques as ** the herd jumps along by him and never 
stays to greet him." ** Ay, sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens. 
'Tis just the fashion : Wherefore do you look upon that poor and 
broken bankrupt there ?" Then says the second Lord to the 

*'Thus most invectively he pierceth through 
The body of the countr>-, city, court, 
Yea, and this our life, swearing that we 
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse. 
To fright the animals and to kill them up 
In their assign'd and native dwelling-place." 




Strathspey has been called " the native country of the sprightly 
dance " (Captain Fraser of Knockie), and yet little can be dis- 
covered as to the early musicians and music of the countr>^ 
Mr Thomas Newt, in his Tour in Scotland (1791), has some 
interesting remarks on Highland music. He says — " Strathspey 
is celebrated for its reels, a species of music that happily unites 
gaiety with grace, moving now with measured step and slow, and 
now at a quick and sudden pace. Music, in general, was divided 
by Macrimmon the piper, principal of the Musical College in the 
Isle of Skye, into four parts : Music for love, music for sorrow, 
music for war, and music for meat. By the last of these he must . 
have meant Reels, among which the Strathspey is as highly 
distinguished among the Reels of the North Highlands, the 
Islands, and Perthshire, as the plaintive melody of the Southern 
Counties is among the slow tunes that arose in the other parts of 
the Lowlands of Scotland. With regard to the first composers, 
or even performers of Strathspey Reels, there are not any certain 
accounts. According to the tradition of the country, the first 
who played them were the Browns of Kincardine (Abernethy), to 
whom are ascribed a few of the most ancient tunes. After these 
men, the Cummings of Freuchie, now Castle Grant, were in the 
highest estimation for their knowledge and execution of Strath- 
spey music, and most of the tunes handed down to us are 
certainly of their composing. A successive race of musicians, 
like the people of the same caste in Hindostan, succeeded each 
other for many generations. The last of that name famous for 
his skill in music was John Roy Cumming. He died about 30 
years ago, and there are many persons still alive who speak of 


his performance with the greatest rapture. The Cummings of 
Loudon, known as the authors of several mechanical inventions, 
and descended from the Cummings of Strathspey, are said to 
inherit in a high degree the musical powers of their ancestors." 
It is so far confirmator>' of this statement, that we find an 
Alexander Gumming acting as piper and \noler to the Laird of 
Grant in 1653. His wages were 20 marks Scots yearly, and, in 
his agreement, he bound himself ** by the faith and truth of his 
body to give bodily service and attendance " as required. From 
a letter of John Donaldsone, Notary- Public to the Laird of 
Grant, dated 28th December, 1638, we learn that at that time the 
Laird had a clarshear, or harper, as well as a violer, in his 
service, and Donaldsone complains that they had injured one 
another in a *' drunkin tuillie'' Tradition says the Grants 
always liked to have a Gumming servant in the house of 
French ie, and it is said that the hearthstone of the old Cum- 
mings, who originally possessed the castle, was preserved in the 
kitchen. This was for good luck. Then as to the Browns, it is 
curious to find one of the name, who was a noted musician, in 
the service of the Grants about the beginning of last century*. 
He was the comrade of Macpherson, the famous freebooter, 
commemorated by Bums ; but while Macpherson was condemned 
and hanged (1700), Brown escaped. Macpherson is represented 
as bitterly complaining of this injustice, in the ballad (Herd's 
Collection, 1776) — 

** Both law and justice buried are, 

And fraud and guile succeed. 
The guilty pass unpunished 

If money intercede. 
The Laird of Grant, that Highland saunt, 

His mighty majestic, 
He pleads the cause of Peter Brown, 

And lets Macpherson die." 

Our Parish has produced not a few good musicians. The 
composer of " Tullochgorm," Righ-nam-port, is said to have been 
a Dallas from Kincardine. His fiddle was long preserved at 


Kinchirdy, and was exhibited at the British Association meeting 
in Aberdeen, 1S59. Later, Mr Donald Grant, TuUoch, called 
from his lightness of foot Donull na h'iteag, ** Donald the 
Feather," published a collection of Highland music, containing 
121 pieces, of which 40 are said to be **old," or "very old," 
though, unfortunately, the original Gaelic names are not given. 
Two sons of Grant, Francis and John, were also distinguished 
performers on the violin, and the former published some music 
of his own composition, which promised well, but he died young. 
The following tunes are claimed as having a local habitation 
and name, connecting them with our parish, but who their 
original composers were is unknown. It is said it was an 
Englishman, rescued as a child by Mary Scott, the Flower of 
Yarrow, from the hands of Watt of Harden, that was the com- 
poser of both the words and music of many of the best old songs 
of the Border. Of him Leyden said — 

'* He, nameless as the race from which he sprung, 
Saved other names, and left his own unsung." 

So it may have been elsewhere. 

RhyjietiajCs Daughter^ '* Nighean a Bhodaich ann Rinaitinn,*^ 
— This Strathspey is given by Captain Fraser. He says he 
obtained it by his father from General Fraser of Lovat. It was 
well known in our Parish, and was a great favourite of the late 
Rev. Mr Martin, who was a fine performer on the violin. Most 
of the Highland Reels and Strathspeys (see Captain Fraser*s 
Notes) were wedded to verse. It might be some incident of 
love or war that was sung, and this gave special interest and 
charm to the song. Often, also, there was a correspondence or 
likeness of sound and movement between the words and the 
music which added to the effect. In the tune called ** Tha 
Biodag air Mac Tho79iais'' you seem to hear the very clink and 
clatter of the dancer's ornaments — 

** Tha biodag air, a' gliogarsaich, 
Oscionn bann na briogaise, 
Nam faiceadh e mar thigeadh i, 
Gur math gum foghnadh sgian dha ' " 


On the road to Glenmore, near the Red Btun, there is a cairn 
called " Barbaras Caimr It has a story. Bartiara Grant of 
Rhynettan was a great beauty. Her fame was widespread, and 
she had many wooers. One of them was a noted Cameron &om 
Lochaber, who came again and again to plead his cause, but in 
vain. Barbara gave her heart to a lad of Nethysidde, and the 
day was fixed for the wedding. The Cameron, in despair, laid a 
plot. He came vrith his men one Sunday when all but the bride 
were at church, and carried off the maiden and much spoil 
besides. Her strait was great, but she did not lose hope. Now 
and again she tore bits from her shawU and dropped them by the 
way, that they might help those who would soon be following 
the trail. Then at, gathering courage, she secretly took off 
her shoe, which had a high heel of hard wood, and, watching 
her opportunity, she struck the man who was leading her pony 
with all her might under the ear. The man fell dead on the 
spot, and in the confusion Barbara escaped. Her friends by this 
time were on the track of the raiders, and great was their joy 
when they met the bride. But they were not satisfied with her 
rescue. They roused the countr>% pursued the raiders, and 
overtook them in Badenoch, where they put them to flight and 
recovered the spoil. There was a meny wedding at Rhinettan, 
and the cairn and the tune remain to this day memorials of the 

Tlie Reel of T'w/^r//.— Tulloch, meaning knoll or height, 
is a common name in the Highlands. Owing to this, and the 
reel being so popular, it is claimed bj- several localities. Our 
parish seems to have the best right to it. both on the ground of 
tradition, and from the existence of the Gaelic song relating to 
the Tulloch tragedy, although it is only fair to state that in the 
ballad the air is said to have been composed by a Macgregor 
from Glenlyon. Ishbcl dhubh, black-haired Ishbel, was the only 
daughter of Allan Grant of Tulloch. It is said that at her birth 
all the guns in the house went off together. The night when 
Joan of Arc was boni (1412), the cocks crowed all the night long. 


This was regarded as a good omen ; but it was otherwise with 
Ishbel. The going off of the guns was held to presage bloodshed 
and death, and the midwife cried out, '* Wretch ! put her between- 
pillows" f' A bhradaig ! cuiribh eadar chluasagan i''J. But 
Ishbel was spared, and grew up a handsome, strong-minded 
woman. She had a lover among the raiders, John Dowgar Mac- 
gregor. Black John, because of his misdeeds, was outlawed. 
An endeavour was made to arrest him in his own country, but it 
failed. He then fled to Tulloch. Ishbel stood his friend, and 
put him to hide in the ox byre. She also smuggled as many 
guns as she could get into the place, saying she would help to 
load them, and that he was to keep his back to her and shoot 
away. Black John was tracked by an officer and twelve men, 
who surrounded the byre. Helped by Ishbel, he made a brave 
defence. One of Ishbel's brothers was with the party, and this 
so incensed her that she kept saying, ** Hold at the man with the 
red waistcoat " — that was her brother ; but Black John was 
wiser, and let him alone. According to the song, John killed or 
wounded the whole party, and he was so elated with his success 
that he cried, " Love, since I have done this brave deed, haste to 
give me a draught of beer, that I may dance the TuUichan I " 
and then he breaks out into praise of the tune. Tullochgorm 
and Seann Trews and the Cutach-chaol-dubh were good, but 
they could not come near the TuUichan. It was the delight of 
all gatherings, and old and young felt its charm and stirring 
power. It is said that Black John was shot some time after, near 
Ballindalloch, and that his head having been brought to Ishbel, 
the shock caused her death. She was buried at Kincardine, and 
a plain slab, without any inscription, marks her grave. The men 
killed at Tulloch were buried under the knoll called **Torran 
Mhortaidh" (The Knoll of the Murder). This is the story 
according to tradition, but the facts, as found in the records of 
the Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, are somewhat different. The 
fight took place on 25th December, 1636. The soldiers were 
commanded by Commissary John Stuart, and the only persons 


alleged to have been killed were the Commissan- and Donald 
M'Inleith, one of his men. John Grant, alias M'Jockie, and his 
two sons, Patrick and John, were delated at the instance of Sir 
Thomas Hope and Klspet Stuart, relict of John Stewart, for the 
resetting of John Dowgar and other Macgregors, and for the 
murder of the two soldiers, and were duly tried. The Decreet 
contains some matters of interest which are worth noting. 
The Macgregors are called that ** unhappy race." John Grant 
and his two sons are charged with ** keeping divers trysts and 
meetings " with John Dowgar and other rebel Macgregors, and 
with ** furnishing them with meat and drink " within the house 
of John MThadrick Grant, alias M*Jockie, elder. In particular 
they are charged with intercommuning with them in the month 
of May, 1636, ** within an ale house in Rimoir, and in the bam 
thereof"; also in the July following, ** within the wood of 
Tullichie " ; and here comes in an amusing glimpse of the 
scene : '* Maister Collin M'Kenzie, Minister, forgathering with 
you, and said John Dowgar, in the said wood, in the said 
Minister's coming from the Kirk of Kincardin, when you stayed 
and conferred for the space of aue hour, and iook sneising and 
tobacco together'' The gravest part of the complaint is that John 
Grant and his two sons, ** being hoddin with swords, targets 
and gunns," had ** assisted and taken plaine pairt with John 
Dowgar and his complices, rebels and fugitives, against John 
Stewart, Commissioner," when ** the said Commissioner, with 
Donald M'Inleith, one of his company, was treasonably slain." 
When the assize was held, the Grants were acquitted of the 
charge of murder, but were found guilty of resetting the 
Macgregors, and of not giving ** concurrence and ahsistance" 
to the Commissioner. Final sentence was pronounced on the 
14th July, 1637, when the three prisoners were, by command of 
the Secret Council, and by the mouth of James Graunt, Deemster 
of Court, adjudged to be taken to ** the Borough Muir of Edin- 
burgh, and Execution place thereof and then to be hanged untill 
they be dead, and thereafter to be hung up in iron chaines within 


the said place of execution whiU they rot and consume, their 
whole moveable goods to be escheated and iubrought to his 
Majesty's use— which was given out for doom." 

Other Parish tunes are :— " The Deserts of Tulloch " ; "John 
Roy Stewart," a fine Strathspey, called after the famous soldier ; 
" The Bonnie Wife of Revack," in praise of Captain Gordon's 
first wife, Margaret Knight, a noted beauty ; and " Mrs Forsyth 
of the Dell," by the late Mr Sweton Fraser, Achernack ; " K. K.," 
by the late Major Patrick Cruickshanks. " Mhuinter mo ghaol," 
the Highland ** Good-Night," might also be claimed. One other 
tune deserves special notice, ** Cairtigonn'* Neil Gow gives it 
in his collection, and calls it a Lament. Captain Fraser also 
gives it, and says that it used to be sung to the " Pursuit of the 
Deer." It is a sweet and plaintive air, very touching and 
suggestive. To Highlanders at home it would call up happy 
memories of sport and adventure ; to Highlanders in foreign 
lands it would speak of the dear country they should see no 
more, and of friends and kindred from whom they were parted 
for ever. 

*• From the dim shelling and the misty island 
Mountains divide us, and a waste of seas ; 
But still our hearts are true, our hearts are Highland, 
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides." 




** In old times, ever>' nation had bards before writing was 
common. Men naturally relish stories of their own species, and 
it enhances greatly the pleasure to have such stories put into such 
a measure as to be accompanied with music ; a plain song of 
that kind was agreeable, it was enchanting when the voice was 
accompanied with the harp or other musical instrument. It 
required an ear, a voice, and skill in instrumental music to excel 
in such a performance, talents which fall to the share of few, 
hence the profession of a bard was in great request, and an 
essential member at every festival and in every meeting for 
amusement" (I/)rd Karnes, 1772). The bards were an important 
class from the days of Ossian downwards. Every clan had its 
clan bard, and every parish had its parish bard. The old order 
has changed, and only place names, such as Baile-Bhaird, near 
Castle Grant, Cuil-Bhardaidhy \\\ Abeniethy, and such like, with 
some songs and poems, remain as dim memorials of days that 
have passed away. But though the bards as a class have been 
long extinct, the spirit of bardhood lived on, and shewed itself 
at divers times, as circumstances called it forth. 

Colonel John Roy Stewart was the best known of our 
parish bards. His life is sketched in chapter XX. Most of his 
poems are in Gaelic. His lament for Lady Mackintosh, not the 
brave lady of the '45, as is commonly said, but her predecessor, 
Mary, daughter of Sir John Menzies of Menzies, is marked by 
an '* intenseness of feeling which seems to resolve itself into the 
element which it contemplates," and his two poems on Culloden» 
** Catha Chnllodaif\'' glow with love for Prince Charlie, and 
indignation and passionate grief for the wrongs and woes 


inflicted on his followers. His songs, some of which are still 
popular, shew that he had much of the light and festive humour 
and broad sympathies of Bums. It may be said, why not give 
translations ? Captain Macintyre, in the Antiquary, was pressed 
by Oldbuck to give a sample of the songs of Ossian, which he 
praised so highly. He tried, and made a ** wretched interpreter," 
as he himself admitted. Others have done better, but all have 
been free to confess with the gallant captain that they have 
found it *' difficult, if not impossible, to render the exquisite 
felicity" of the original. 

WiLUAM Smith was bom at Rinuigh, a croft high up among 
the hills, far from the busy haunts of men. He was of a family 
noted as deerstalkers. Mr Donald Shaw, in his * Highland 
Legends," says of him, " He was a man of bold and resolute 
disposition, and of active and powerful frame of body. He was 
capable of enduring any amount of exposure and fatigue, and 
long carried on his lawless avocation in open defiance, as it were, 
of the keepers of the forests, and without any dread of fine or 
punishment at the hands of the administrators of the law." 
Smith served for a time in the Strathspey Fencibles. Then, 
after some years of unsettledness, he joined the army, and died 
at Portsmouth. His songs deal chiefly with love and hunting. 
They are marked by simplicity, tenderness, happy descriptions of 
nature, and a rollicking delight in the chances and charms of a 
poacher's life. His best and best known poem is that entitled 
"' Alll-an-Lochan UainCy^ or the Stalker's Dream. William's 
brother Lewis succeeded to the croft, and lived to a great age. 
He was also a famous hunter. It was he that killed the Big 
Hart of Glenmore, which graced the baptism feast of the heir of 
Rolhiemurchus (1799). Another time he was out with ** William 
the Captain's Son " (Captain Lewis of the Doune). They found 
a hind at the Sithans, near the west end of Loch Morlich. 
Grant said to Lewie, " Take you Macalpin (the gun), as you are 
the best shot." He said, ** No, shoot yourself." Grant took aim, 
but at once lowered his gun, saying, ** It's not a hind, but an old 


woman with a mutch." ** Nonsense," said Lewie, ** try again." 
He did so, with the same result. When he aimed it was an old 
woman he saw, when he lowered his gun it was a hind. ** This 
is witchcraft," said Lewie; "put a silver button in your gun." 
He- did so, and took aim, but before he could pull the trigger, he 
fell down, saying " I'm a dead man." The hind disappeared, but 
Grant died t>\'o days after ! 

Robert Grant was the fourth son of Mr Charles Grant, 
farmer, Rothiemoon. He had excellent abilities, and early 
shewed a taste for music and song. When companion to Lord 
Seafield (1830-9) he took an active part in local politics, and 
wrote some clever pieces, in prose and verse, in support of his 
Tor>' friends. One squib,,** Banff Whigs awa !" was often sung 
at the convivial meetings of the period. Mr Grant acted for 
some years as factor of Glen-Urquhart, and died at Rothiemoon 
in 1858. We give one of his songs (''The House o' Grant "), 
with Gaelic translation, executed with much taste and fidelity 
by another Rothiemoon man, the late 

Mr D0NA1.D Gordon. Gordon when a young man travelled 
as a pack-merchant. This gave him a large acquaintance with 
the Highlands. Afterwards he kept a small shop at Rothiemoon, 
and latterly, for several years, he acted as one of the post-runners 
between Grantown and Forres, walking a distance of 22 miles 
every day. He was a man of an original and ingenious turn, 
and an enthusiastic Highlander. He not only played the \dolin 
well, but was a skilful maker of violins. He not only loved to 
don the Highland garb, but deftly manufactured belts and 
brooches and other Highland dress ornaments. He not only 
spoke the ancient tongue with rare sweetness and master>% but 
he had much of the character of the seanachie and bard, and 
wrote papers on local traditions, and original poems, which 
found a welcome and fit place in the ** Cuairtear," and were 
widely popular. It is known that he had been long occupied 
with a work on the ** Bards of Strathspey," with biographies and 


traditions. This was a congenial task, and one for which he was 
eminently fitted. Dr Norman Macleod of St Coliimba wrote to him 
in kindly and encouraging terms, and offered his assistance as to 
the publication of the book. At last the work was finished, and 
sent to Glasgow, but unfortunately the firm entrusted with it 
failed, and, in the confusion, the MSS. were lost. This was a 
heavy blow and sore discouragement. The labour of years was 
gone. Failing health and lack of leisure made it impossible to 
repair the loss. The modest, simple-minded Highlander made 
no complaint, but it was easy to see that he never was the same 
man again. He died 1852, as he had lived, a humble Christian. 


Of a' the airts the win' can blaw, 

I dearly lo'e the North ; 
For there gang lads, sae blithe an* braw. 

The wile o' sense an' worth ; 
An' lasses fair, wi' heavenly air, 

Wha ilka heart enchant. 
Oh ! sic a race as this we'll trace 

In a' the name o' Grant. 

In southern climes let others stray, 

By bumie, brae, or grove ; 
Gie me the lang, but mirthsome day, 

On Highland hills to rove. 
Tho' tempest lour, a canny hour 

At e'en ye ne'er can want ; 
An' aye ye'll find a welcome kind 

Beneath the roof o' Grant. 

Nae muckle gowd, nae muckle gear, 

Nae titles proud I crave ; 
I wadna be a gartered peer, 

I wadna be a slave. 
But be my lot a Hielan' cot, 

Wi' scrip nor fou nor scant, 
Wi' friends sae free as heart can be, 

Just like the I^aird o' Grant. 



De na huile taobh, o'n seid a ghaoth, 

Se'n Airde Tuath mo mhiann 
N' sin tha lasg^irean thug barr 

*N seadh, 'n gradh, 'san sgiamh, 
A*s cailleagan, tha aoidhil, tlkth 

A thaladh chridh s* gach am, 
*Se leithidibh sin do ghineil ait 

Don* cleachd bhi sloinneadh Grannd. 

Biodh each air iomrad fad mu dheas, 

Taobh doire, bruach na alt, 
Thoir dhomhsa n* la tha fad ach ait, 

Am measg nan Gaidheil* s' nam Beann ; 
Ged sheideadh stoinnean, falbhidh n* sion, 

S* bithidh fasgadh measg nan* Gleann, 
Is gheabhar beath, 's caidridh shuan, 

Fo uachdar Chaisteil Grannd. 

Or no earras cha neil nam, 

Ni mo tha urram ard, 
A bhith m* ard-Earla s' mi nach iarr, 

S' cha mhiann leam bhi am thraill. 
Ach a bhi chomhnuidh m* bothan glan, 

Le sporran nach Ikn na gann, 
A measg nan cairdean caoimhineil sin, 

S' cho saor ri Tighearn Ghrannd. 

The following translations are also by Mr Gordon, the first being 
from Sir Walter Scott, and the other from ** A Welcome to the 
Master of Grant,'* by the late Rev. James Stewart, Abernethy :— 

Pibroch of Donuil Dubh, Piobrachd Dhomhnuil Dutbh, 

Pibroch of Donuil, Piobrachd Dhbmhnuil, 

Wake thy wild voice anew, Duisg do ghuth borb as ur. 

Summon Clan Conuil. Gairm Clann nam Mor-bheanu. 

Come away, come away. Tionailibh, tiugainnibh. 

Hark to the summons ! Eisdibh an t-ordugh ! 

Come in your war array, Thigibh 'n *ur cath-uidheam. 

Gentles and commons. Ceathainie s Mor-dhaoine. 



Come from deep glen, and 
From mountain so rocky, 
The war-pipe and pennon 
Are at Inverlochy. 
Come every hill-plaid-aud ^ 
True heart that wears, one. 
Come every steel blade and 
Strong hand that bears one. 

Leave untended the herd, 
The flock without shelter, 
Leave the corpse uninterr'd, 
The bride at the altar. 
Leave the deer, leave the steer. 
Leave nets and barges ; 
Come with your fighting gear — 
Broadswords and targes. 

Come as the winds come, when 

Forests are rended ; 

Come as the waves come, when 

Navies are stranded. 

Faster coijie, faster come, 

Faster and faster ! 

Chief, vassal, page and groom. 

Tenant and master ! 

Fast they come, fast they come, 

See how they gather ; 

Wide waves the eagle's plume, 

Blended 'with heather. 

Cast your plaids, draw your blades, 

Forward each man set, 

Pibroch of Donuil Dubh, 

Knell for the onset ! 

Thall bho gach gleannan, 
Gach monadh 's sgor-bheann, 
Tha phiob-mhor 's a bhratach 
Air faich Inbhir-Lochaidh, . 
Thigeadh for bhreacan 
Gach cridh' fior gu sunndach 
Gach cruaidh-lann, 's lamhan 
Bhios laidir gu'n giulain. 

Fag gun bhuachaill a ghreigh, 
Na treudan gun fhasgadh, 
Fkg gun adhlac nam mairbh, 
Bean-na-bainnse aig an altair. 
Fag am fiadh, 's an t-og dhamh, 
Gach lion agus bata ! 
Thigibh le 'ur cath-airm, 
Gach claidh-mbr *s targaid. 

Thigibh mar gaoithe thig, 
*Nuair reubar na coilltean. 
Thigibh mar thuinn 'nuair bhios 
Feachd-mara claoidhte. 
Greasaih, a's tiugainnibh, 
Thigibh na's luaidh, 
Gach uachdaran, iochdharan, 
Tigheama 's tuathanach. 

Nach luath tha iad tional, 
Nach faic sibh a chomhdhail. 
'S mor luasg ite *n fhir-eun, 
'Si nieasgt ^e fraoch cro-dhearg. 
Tilgibh gach breacan 
Gach lann biodh an ordugh. 
Piobaireachd Dhomhnuill Duibh 
Triall thun na comhraig. 

On our rock-crested mountains the beacons are blazing, 

They lighten our vales and they redden the sky ; 

And the voices of thousands glad shouts are upraising, 

And Freuchie's green banners are waving on high. 

The gay gallant sons of the clear Nethy sally 

From the glens and the dales of their forests so green ; 

And the Gael of Glenchearnaich, from their verdant sweet valley, 

By the banks of the dark winding Dulnan convene, 


0*er the broad Haughs of Cromdale the Slogan comes swelling. 

And mingles its notes with the roar of the Spey ; 

Yet it sounds no alarm — no summonses knelling 

To the red battlefield from our homes far away. 

No — we hear not the accents of sorrow or sadness ; 

The cheeks of our maidens are not faded or wan ; 

But their hearts bound with joy, and their eyes beam with 

To honour the " Roof Tree" and hope of their clan. 

While stands fast Craigellachie, high, rugged, and hoar>% 
Unscathed by the tempests that sweep round its head — 
As long may that flame-crested rock oe our glor>- — 
May we follow wherever its banner be spread. 
May our chieftain's escutcheon bear honour's bright blossom 
'Mong gentles and nobles— may he stand in the van ; 
And enshrined, and beloved, and endeared to each bosom. 
Be ever the ** Roof Tree'' and hope of our clan. 

Tha tein-eibhinn a* lasadh an nochd air *ar Sleibhtibh, 
'S e deargadh nan speur agus soilseachadh Ghleann ; 

'S tha ard-ghuth nam miltean, r 'a chluinntinn gu h-eibhtnn, 
'S tha uain'-bhratach Phraochaidh 'ga sgaoileadh ri crann. 

Thionail laochraidh og ghaisgeil air bruach Neich nam brais 

Bho shrathauan dreachail an coilltean dluth gorm ; 
Agus gaidheil Clann-chearnaich, bho an gleannanan tlachdar, 

'S bha 'n comh-dhail aig Tuilnean nan lub 's nan sruth dorch. 

Thar dailean Spe'an Ctom-dhaile tha i siod tighinn le nuallan, 
*Si measgadh a fuaim-cheol 'an toirm uisge Spe — 

Ach cha ghairm th* ami na caismeachd ga ar iarraidh o ar 
No dh' fhagail 'ar dachaidh gu cath 'an tir chein. 

Cha chluinnear ri mulad, ri tuireadh, no bron sinn ; 

Tha aghatdh 'ar n oighean gun seargadh gun chaoil ; 
'S ann tha 'n cridheachana plosgadh le h-aoibhneas is solas 

'Thoirt onair do'n Ceannard is dochas an Treubh. 


Mar sheasas Creig-eallachaidh nan liath sgorr gu daigheann. 

Gun chaireachadh le stoirmean tha 'g iadh m'a ceann — 
Co fad 's a *se *n lasair-chreig ard sin *ar cath-ghairm — 

Gu 'n lean sinn a bratach gach taobh sam hi sreann. 

Gu robh sgiath-airm 'ar Ceannard a* giulan ard-onair 
Measg Mhaithean is Uaislean ri'n guaillibh san streup ; 

Air a ghleidh, is air a shaoradh, gu h-ionmhuinn le souas, 
A choidh gu robh Ceannard is dochas *ar Treubh. 

There were others of our people who did their part as Bards. 
Charles Stewart, Knock, wrote hunting songs, which were at one 
time popular. I^ewis Macpherson, TuUoch, was famous for his 
gift of romancing, somewhat after the manner of Baron Mun- 
chausen. " Tom Bill " was the author of a clever satire that made 
a great sensation sixty years ago. Donald Shaw, Achgourish, 
published *' Legends of Glenmore" in 1839; Daniel Grant, late 
of Bachdcham, " Spiritual Songs" (2nd ed.); in 1862 ; and James 
Home, Fae, " Poems," in 1865. But the man oest known, and 
whose writings have had the widest and the most salutary influ- 
ence, was Mr Peter Grant, Baptist Minister. He was affection- 
itely spoken of throughout the Highlands as Parruig Grannd 
nan-bran, '* Peter Grant of the Songs," and well deservfes the 
first place among our Bards. Mr Grant was born at Balintua, 
near Congash, where his father had a small farm, on the 30th 
January, 1783. It was a hard thing in those days for the poor to 
get education, but Peter was a thoughtful boy, with a great love 
of knowledge, and he made the best of his opportunities. Gaelic 
was his mother tongue, but after some years he acquired English, 
which he spoke with correctness and fluency. Two^r three 
striking incidents in his life may be noted. Once a friend visited 
his father's house, who sang some of Dug^ld Buchanan's songs 
in the evening. Peter was but a boy, and he sat in a comer, 
drinking in both words and music with delight Some time after 
he got a copy of the book, which he used to ponder over when 
out in the fields herding, and soon he had it all by heart. Another 
time he had gone to Grantown, when he was drawn to a quiet 



nook— then a gravel pit, now the site of the Baptist Chapel— 
where certain of the good people called ** Missionaries *' were 
holding a Gospel meeting. Mr Grant had been for some time 
Precentor in the Parish Church, but he was not satisfied with 
the preaching of the minister. He yearned for something better, 
and now he felt that he had found it. He used often in after life 
to tell how the words of the Psalm which was being sung when 
he drew near, had touched his heart — 

** For God of Sion hath made choice, 
There He desires to dwell ; 
This is mv rest, here still I'll stay, 
For I do like it well." 

The preacher was Mr Lachlan Mackintosh, one of Mr Haldane's 
converts. It is said that Mr Haldane made Mr Mackintosh a 
Christian, and that Mr Mackintosh made Mr Haldane a Baptist ! 
This was a turning-point in Mr Grant's life. He was soon after 
baptised, and joined the Baptist Congregation at Grantown, of 
which he became Pastor in 1826. Mr Grant was an able minister. 
He was, as one said, ** a plain, pointed, and powerful preacher of 
the Gospel," and during his pastorate of 41 years he was honoured 
to do much good, not only in Strathspey, but in other districts 
where he had preached in his evangelistic tours. Mr Grant was 
early impressed with the evils in society, and the dangers to 
which the young were exposed. Like Luther, he did not see 
why Satan should have the best of the music, and he resolved to 
do what he could to bring about a change for the better. His 
''Dan Spioradaii;' Spiritual Songs, were published in 1809, 
when he was in his 26th year. It is curious that the Highland 
people, while they strongly object to hymns in church, have no 
hesitation in using them in their homes. So it came about that 
Mr Grant's hymns were soon sung all over the Highlands. He 
lived to see his little book in its loth edition, and it must have 
often cheered his heart to know that by its humble means he 
had been able to commend the love of God and the glorious 


Gospel to thousands, at home and in the Colonies, who had 
never seen his face. Mr Grant, though a strict Baptist, lived on 
friendly terms with ministers of the Old Church, and took an 
active part with them in promoting Sabbath Schools, Bible 
Societies, and other schemes of Christian usefulness. In the 
preface to the 6th edition, 1842, he says to " the Lord's people of 
all denominations, who had been praying and using means to 
enlighten the dark places," **be not weary in well-doing ; your 
labour has not been in vain in the Lord. . I can testify from 
personal knowledge that a wonderful reformation has taken 
place on the manners and morals of the people in general ; 
besides, I hope many are truly converted." Mr Grant died on 
14th December, 1867, in his 85th year. His last meeting with 
his people was very touching. Old and feeble, he could not give 
the usual address, but, leaning on his staff, he said, as it is told 
in like manner of the beloved disciple, ** Little children, love 
one another." Some days after he passed in peace to that 
Eternal Rest of which he has sweetly sung in one of his songs. 




Abbrnbthy has for ages been fatuous for its pine-forests. The 
remains of great trees in our mosses, and the blocks, sometimes 
three, one on the top of the other, found in improving land, tell 
of the glory of the past, and so far as is known, though there 
have been changes, there has been no break in the continuity 
from the most ancient times. Long ago, the lower parts of our 
parish seem to have been swamps and morasses, the haunt of 
wild beasts, and the home of savage desolation, while the higher 
grounds on the slopes of the hills were occupied by the people. 
The hut circles and the marks of furrows on the moors show this. 
It is now nearly the reverse. The lower grounds are cultivated, 
while the higher have been given \tp to wild animals and to 
sheep. About the year 1760, we find Sir Ludovick Grant greatly 
concerned as to the state of the woods. In an advertisement by 
himself, and his eldest son James, yr. of Grant, to their tenants, 
he says that the woods are of great value, and that their 
destruction would be of the greatest loss to him, and to his 
vassals and tenants, ** yet within the last half centurj-, through 
the malice and negligence of evil-minded and thoughtless people, 
the best and greatest part of said woods have been destroyed and 
rendered useless both to Heritors and Tenants" by burning of 
heather and otherwise. To prevent such practices, it was inti- 
mated that they (he and his sou) " were determined to put in 
execution the several salutary laws made against stealing, cutting, 
and destroying woods, and raising of Muir-bums ; and likewise 
against the Destroyers of Deer, Roes, and Black- Cock, and other 
game within their Estates." The advertisement then gives 
warning that any person found guilty of the crimes set forth 

i^oRBs'f pAiRtres. 293 

would be duly punished, and it is significantly added, " the said 
person shall also forfeit any favour that they might otherwise 
have expected of the said Family." This may refer to promises 
of land and such like for service rendered. The Baron-bailies 
were required to send in lists of persons convicted. New 
Foresters were also appointed, and strict instructions given to 
them. *• Whereas the very greatest abuses of everj^ kind for 
many years have been committed in all my Woods of Strathspey, 
by stealing, cutting, barking, and otherwise destroying them to 
such a degree that if some effectual remedies are not provided 
against such villanous practices in time coming, they must all be 
soon ruined," and for these reasons they were enjoined to take 
all due measures to protect the property that was being so 
wantonly and wickedly destroyed. These measures seem to 
have been so far successful, but it was many years before the 
evils complained of were thoroughly stopped. In 1819, the 
Woods and Wood Manufactures on the Grant Estates were 
placed under the charge of the late Mr William Forsyth, The 
Dell, and by his management, extending over twenty years, great 
improvements were effected, and large annual profits secured. 

Roads have been made passing through the woods in various 
directions. There are also walks and cross-paths on Craigmore 
and the Torr. It is easy, therefore, not only to saunter about at 
one's own sweet will, but to walk or drive for miles and miles 
through the vast wilderness of woods. What will be seen 
depends mainly on the seer. Some complain of the dulness and 
want of life, but to the "quiet eye" there is always a rich 
'* harvest." Sometimes a tree may be observed, standing out from 
the others, eminent for its size and height, or remarkable for some 
other peculiarity. A little beyond the Dell gate, near the Moss, 
there is a tree called " The Queen." It is a splendid specimen of 
the ancient pine. About a mile further on to the right there are 
two or three trees of an unusual kind. The normal habit of the 
fir is to grow up straight and stiff, but these have the droop and 
bend of veritable " weepers." Another *• fairlie" is the variegated 



fir, SO called from the golden tinge of the needles or leaves. Of 
this rare kind there are some specimens in the forest The 
biggest trees remaining are to be found at Cam Chnuic, Sleigh- 
ich, and Craigmore. One of these in the last named locality 
bears the name of ** Peter Porter.*' The Grants at the port or 
ferry of BalHefurth were called ** porters," and it is said that one 


of them of the name of Peter had taken a contract to cut down a 
certain number of trees on Craigmore, but that when he came to 
tackle with this giant of the wild, he shrunk from the task. It 
would not pay. So the tree stands to this day. bearing his name, 
and an object of admiration to hundreds of visitors from year to 
year. It is 80 feet in height, 14 feet in girth, with huge branches 
and wide spreading cable-like roots, and must be about 300 years 
old. Perhaps the largest fir of which we have record was that 
called " Maighdeaji Coire-chunglaich,'' at Baddan-bhuic, in Glen- 



more. The following notice is taken from the Journal of 
Forestry and Estate Management for September, 1877 : — 

Through the kind interest which Sir Robert Chri«ti»on, Bart, takes in all things 
arboricultural, the public have now an opportunity of seeing, in the National 
Industrial Museum of Science and Art in Edinburgh, a curious relic of the ancient 
forest of Olenmore, and of judging of the (|uality and valuable properties of the 


native Scots fir timber. At the reciue.-<t of Sir Hoberl, the Duke of Richmond and 
Gordon has sent for exhibition in the Mu.icum a plank of Soots fir, 5 feet 7 inches 
wide at the bottom, which vfM pi-esentCil in 1806 to the then Duke by the person 
who purchased and cut down the whole of Olenmore forest. It bears its rather 
curious history on a brass plate affixe<l to its face, of which the following is a 
verbatim and literal copy :— 

296 IN The shadow of cairngorm. 

*' In the jeftr 1783 WilUain Osborne, E«q., merchaat, of Hull, purchiued of th« 
Duke of Gordon the Forest of Qlenmore, the whole of which he cut down in the 
space of 22 years, and built during that time at the mouth of the River Spey, where 
never Vessel was built before, 47 Sail of Ships of ufiwards of 19,000 Tons burthen. 
The largest of them, of 1060 Tons, and three others but little inferior in sin, are now 
in the serx'tce of his Majesty and the Honble. East India Company. This Under- 
taking was compleated at the expense (for Labour only) of above 70,000£. 

" To his Grace the Duke of Gordon this Plank is offer*d as a Specimen of the 
Growth of one of the Treos in the above Forest by his Graoe*s 

" most obedt. Servt 


" HtUi, Sepr 26th, 1806," 

Sir Robert Christison has, with his usual accurate criticism, examined this plank, 
and reports to us as follows regparding the tree from which it had been taken : — 

"The tree must have been 19 feet in girth at the bottom of the plank, and 16 at 
t«)p, 6 feet 3 inches higher up. I can make out 243 layem on one radius ; seven are 
wanting in the centre, and seven yearn at least must be added for the growth of the 
tree to the place uf measurement. Hence the tree must liave been about 260 years 
old. The outer layers on this radius are so wide that it must liave been growing at 
a goodly rate when it was cut down.*' 

The marks of burning may be observed on the bark of some 
of the oldest trees. Great fires sometimes broke out, from 
accident or malice. Mr Thomas Baylis, one of the York Com- 
pany, wrote to Sir James Grant, 12th August, 1731, complaining 
of a fire that had been maliciously raised to the east of Balnagown, 
and which had been very destructive. He says that not only 
had the Company lost much wood, but that it cost them " 43 
bottles Ferrintosh and 39 of Brandie," given to the men who 
were employed in stopping the conflagration. It is probably 
this fire that is referred to in a Gaelic rhyme of the period. 

*• Soraidh slan do'n t-Shearsonach 
Chuir teas ri Culnacoille, 
S' dh* fuadaich mach na Sassaiiaich 
A dh' fhiaraidh 'n leasach bheurla," 

i,e,, "Hail to the forester, who set heat about Coulnakyle and drove 
out the Sassenachs, to seek the better English.'* Rev. Lachlan 


Shaw mentions another great fire that occurred in 1746. The 
tradition as to this fire is, that a certain smith who had his 
forge at the verge of the forest was complaining one day of the 
trouble he had with horses that went astray in the dense woods. 
A Lochaber man who heard him said, *' Make me a good dirk, and 
rjl take in hand to save you from such troubled He agreed. Next 
day the forest was in a blaze, and a wide clearance was soon 
made. The Cameron disappeared for a twelvemonth, but then 
he came quietly and claimed his dirk. This gave the name Tom- 
ghobhain, i.e.. Smith Hill, to the place. Another great fire is 
referred to by Sir Walter Scott (Letter to Lord Montagu, 23rd 
June, 1822), when the Laird of Grant is said to have sent out the 
Fiery Cross for help. Five hundred men assembled, " who could 
only stop the conflagration by cutting a gap of 500 yards in 
width betwixt the burning wood and the rest of the forest. This 
occurred about 1770, and must have been a tremendous scene." 
The woods are on the whole marked by lonesomeness, but 
now and again signs of animal life appear. Perhaps a robin 
pops out from a juniper bush, as if claiming acquaintance ; or a 
squirrel crosses the path and nimbly climbs some fir tree near, 
from which it looks down upon you with mild surprise ; or a 
startled roebuck bounds into the thicket, and you watch with 
delight its graceful movements, and perhaps remember the 
beautiful promise, " The lame man shall leap as an hart" In 
winter red deer may often be seen singly, or in groups quietly 
feeding in the glades. Black game are numerous, and sometimes 
the rare and singular sight may be obtained, as at the grass parks 
at Rhiduack, of the cocks strutting and fuming, with tails erect, 
in all the bravery of their spring plumage. It is interesting to 
watch them. They not only strut like turkeys, but they prance 
and leap in a sort of dance, and with a curious cluck, and have 
sharp fightings for supremacy. Black game do not pair like 
others of the grouse species. There is an old pipe tune which 
refers to this curious custom, '' Ruidhle na Coilich dhubk, *s 


datinsa ha tunnagan<, air an iulaich laimk ruinn" — the reels of the 
black-cocks, and the dancing of the ducks on the sunny knolls 
near by. Sometimes on a winter day or in early spring, on the 
outskirts of the forest, or where the birches and firs intermingle, 
3'ou may come upon a company of tits feeding. It is a pretty 
sight. The tits are fond of society. Generally several kinds go 
together. There may be the common " blue," and the rarer 
•* long- tailed," and the still rarer "crested," and along with them 
creepers and golden wrens. They have their different habits 
and ways. One perhaps carefully scans a stump, another cling!> 
with tenacity to a twig, while others are perched about in all 
sorts of attitudes, some near the top of a tree, others s>vinging on 
the branches, and others again hanging on in some wonderful 
way to the bending sprays, but all seeking their food with patient 
care. They make the air lively with their twittering and their 
brisk activities. But if you stand and watch, you will soon lose 
sight of them. Having tried one tree, they are oflF to another, 
and so they pass on. seeking pastures new. Perhaps a creeper 
that has been paying special attention to a decaying birch, 
winding round and round, and stopping here and there for tit- 
bits, .seems left behind. But no. He sees that he is alone, and 
quickly rejoins his friends. What a sweet picture of com- 
panionship ! What a delightful lesson of cheerful content and 
industry ! 

•* The birds around me hopp'd and play'd, 

Their thoughts I cannot measure ; 
But the least motion that they made, 

It seemed a thrill of pleasure. 
If this belief from heaven be sent, 

If such be nature's plan, 
Have I not reason to lament 

What man has made of man." — Wordsworth. 

In the pine forests in our northern climate there is a marked 
difference between one season and another. Visitors who roam 


the woods in summer speak with rapture of the play of light, the 
rich colouring, and the sweetness of the scented air, but let them 
come back in winter or spring, and they will find a woful change. 
No doubt the woods, even in time of snow, have their charms, 
but they are then more picturesque than salubrious, and when 
the thaw comes, and the air is dank and cold, and when passing 
through you get a bath that chills you to the marrow, it will 
perhaps be realised that the woods are not always a safe and 
pleasant haunt, that they can breed colds, catarrhs, and rheu- 
matisms, as well as throw out sweet scents and healing odours. 




It is said that in India certain arts were confined to certain 
families or castes, and that as these families died out, the arts 
were lost. The same thing has happened, though in a different 
way, in the Highlands. When the people were divided into 
clans, and lived by themselves, many arts and industries were in 
use amongst them, which, from social changes and the progress 
of commerce and civilisation, have passed away. The making of 
cloth was once largely practised. First the wool was prepared in 
the carding-mill, then it was spun into thread, then it was dyed, 
and various kinds of bark and lichens were employed to produce 
different dyes, then it was woven, loom weavers being then 
common, then it was '* waulked," and when all was finished, it 
was turned to use as required. These operations were mostly 
carried out by women, and they used to lighten their labours by 
song. It was said of the Roman matron, '* Domum mansit. 
lanam fecit,** well rendered by Robertson of Struan, '^She 
keepit weel the hoose, and birlit at the wheel." This was true 
also of the Highlands in the olden time. The wheel was found 
in every house, and pleasant it was to see matron or maiden 
plying her task by the fireside with simple grace and joy. 

** Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound, 
All at her work the village maiden sings. 
Nor while she turns the giddy wheel around, 
Revolves the sad vicissitudes of things." 

Fuel had to be provided, and this was chiefly taken from the 
mosses. Peat may be said to be arrested coal. It is found in 
abundance in the cold north. Before the days of railways the 


people were largely dependent upon it for their fire. Mossing^ 
which was in May or June, was a lively stirring time. The 
cutting was done by men from a bank with spades, and the 
carrying by women and hoys in light barrows. First the peats 
were set up two and two together. Then when well dried they 
were put in little heaps, and afterwards built up into stacks, or 
carted home for use. The making of charcoal for smithies was a 
more complicated business. David Laing, Causair, who came 
from Kinloss in 1806, used to make his coal at Plotta, near the 
old Tomintoul road, as the moss there was found most suitable 
for the purpose. Calm weather was chosen for the work. First 
three or four pits were dug, and these were built up with dry 
peats to a height of 5 feet above the surface of the ground, 
leaving an air-hole in the centre, and then carefully thatched. 
Fire was applied by the vent. Soon a kind of sough was heard, 
and then the vent was covered with small peats and dust. The 
fire spread from windward. The heaps were closely watched, 
and wherever the fire threatened to break through, the weak 
places were strengthened by divots and gravel. But no pressure 
or undue weight was applied. Soon the heat became intense. 
The heaps were allowed to bum for about a week. Then the 
charcoal was taken out, and carted to the smithy, where it was 
carefully husbanded. The work of the bellows and the anvil 
could not go on without it. Hence the Gaelic proverb, '* An 
uair a theirigeas gual, sgidridh obair,'' When coal ends, work 

Tar was much used in former days, not only for sheep and 
cattle, but for carts, then made entirely of wood, and for domestic 
purposes. It was made in this way. First a pit was dug in firm 
mossy ground, with a round hole at the bottom about i8 inches 
deep, to hold a cask or jar, covered with a flag resting on stone 
supports, so as to let the tar run in from above. The pit was 
then filled with cut quick-fire, rich with resin, and covered with 
divots packed close with moss. The fire was lighted from the top, 
and allowed to burn slowly for two or three days. The resinous 


sap oozing out dropped into the central hole. When carefully 
done, the tar thus obtained was of the finest quality-. The quaii 
was still in use sixty years ago. Another important implement 
was the knocking-block. In most parts of the Highlands it was 
made of stone, but in Strathspey, where wood was plentiful, it 
was generally made of wood. The mode of manufacture was 
simple. First, a fir tree, well matured, was chosen, and a piece 
sawn off of the proper size. Then holes were bored in the centre 
\\\\\i an auger (G. lord), and the wood cut out with a chisel 
(G Giib) so as to form a cup-like hole of sufficient depth. Then 
the hole was smoothed and hardened by burning peat-coals 
inside, care being taken by means of a damp cloth to prevent the 
wood from being burnt or cracked. The mallet was also of 
wood, with the point rounded, and generally studded with nails 
to make it the more firm and durable. The block was called in 
Gaelic *' An Cnap Eonia*' the Barley Block, and often for short- 
ness the Cnap, or Cnoiag, The mallet was called An (eangaidk, 
the tongue — probably from its shape, but perhaps with a cunning 
reference to the purpose to which it was applied. It was some- 
times called *' An slachdan*' the Beater. The block was worked 
as follows : — Some barley was put into a dish and damped with 
water. It was then rubbed with the hand, and when so far 
cleaned and moistened it was put into the block and beaten with 
the mallet. The operator, usually a woman, was seated, and 
carried on the process very methodically— first giving a stroke 
downwards upon the barley, and then a lighter stroke on the side 
of the block to shake off any grains that might have adhered to 
the mallet So on she went, with a sort of musical rhythm, often 
with the accompaniment of song, till the grain was loosened 
from the husk. The next step was to winnow the grain, which 
was done with a fan (an dallanach). The barley was then put 
into a dish with warm water, and carefully worked about with 
the hand, till it was perfectly smooth and white. It was then fit 
for w^e, and was called ** Cnots," pronounced ** Grots." Perhaps 
this may be the origin of the English word ** groats." A sped- 


men of a knocking block and mall, from Lynamen TuUoch, was 
presented to the Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh. Stone 
blocks are common, but a wooden block is a great rarity. 

Wood Manufacturk. — For long this was the chief industry 
of our Parish. In winter the men were employed in felling 
trees in the forest, and in bringing the logs with horses to the 
river bank, and to the saw-mills. There were dams or reservoirs 
on the Nethy, and, by letting off the water from them, the river 
was raised sufficiently to admit of the logs that had been laid 
down at convenient points being floated to the Spey. The men 
employed in this way were called " Floaters." The scene on a 
floating-day was very picturesque and lively. From thirty to 
forty men met at the appointed place, each of them with his 
*' cleek,'* a wooden pole with a two-pointed head of iron, fitted 
for pushing or hauling. The logs had been rolled into the bed 
of the river, and, when the rush of water came, the utmost 
endeavour was made to keep them afloat and moving. From 
pool to pool the men plied their task. Sometimes a block took 
place. Two logs got fast across a stone, or in some narrow 
place ; then others were caught and heaped up. In a second or 
two there was a huge pile, jammed and locked together in 
seemingly inextricable confusion. But the men knew their 
business. Some stalwart lad dashed in, fastened his cleek in the 
log that formed the key of the lock, tugged and strained till he 
got it free, and then in a moment the huge pile broke up, and 
the channel again was clear. At the Dell intack, Benjamin 
Lobban might be seen standing near the sluice, and deftly 
picking out such of the finer logs as he fancied, to be sawn into 
deals. But the bulk of the logs were taken to the mouth of the 
Nethy (Broomhill), to be made up into floats or rafts for Gar- 
mouth. These floats were formed after the improved pattern 
by Aaron Hill. They were made up of logs fastened together^ 
with, perhaps, a cargo of deals, and were managed by two men, 
one at each end, with long oars. When the floats were buckled, 
and the Spey wqs of proper size, one after another would start 


on their 40-inile voyajje. For the first four miles the water was 
>luggi*»h and the pmgress slow. Beyond Rirkton the river runs 
more quickly, and there are strong streams here and there, all 
the way to Ballindalioch. so that the pace was more satisfactory'. 
The fork and shadows at Ad\ne, and the rapids at Dalgarvan 
and Dundurcas, had to be carefully watched. Mishaps and 
losses happened at these places, but the men had attained, by 
long experience, to such skill and expertness that accidents 
were very rare. The cruives, or braes, used by the Duke of 
Gordon's fishermen, sometimes gave trouble. Once a well- 
known floater, of the name of Clarke, was asked by a watcher 
how he got ox'er the brae. ** Never better, never better," was 
the cheer>' reply. The fact was the worthy floater had carried 
his float right through, making a big gap in the brae ! The best 
floaters would make the trip to the sea in about twelve hours. 
Starting early in the morning from Broomhill, they would be 
able, not only to get to Garmouth by the evening, but to reach 
Rothes on their home journey before night. The number of 
tenants employed in this industr>' in Abemethy was about 90, 
and their earnings were considerable — often more than enough 
to cover the rent of their farms. In 1839, 91 tenants were paid 
the sum of £45^ • ^^^ ^^ 1S40, 95 tenants received among them 
;^636. It is e\ndent that great advantages to the tenants accrued 
under the system, and the landlord had not only the satisfaction 
of giving employment in a way that encouraged industry and 
thrift, but also of obtaining a safe and easy settlement of rents. 
The old s\'stem was abolished in 1^43, and now the manufacture 
of wood is mostly in the hands of strangers. 

With reference to some of the old industries, such as dyeing, 
spinning, carving, and others, it may be observed that they were 
practised when work was slack, and filled up leisure hours which 
might otherwise have been spent idly and tmprofitably. In the 
Black Forest, in winter, men are busy manufacturing wooden 
clocks; in the T>to1, in making and painting dolls; and in 
Switzerland, in various forms of wood-carving. These industries 


are supplemental to the ordinary work of the place, and do good 
in many ways. Something of this kind is much needed in the 
Highlands, and the efforts being made, as by the Highland 
Industrial Association, to establish such crafts, are deserving of 
every encouragement. It is desirable also that our system of 
compulsory education, which is becoming harassing and oppres- 
sive to small farmers and labourers, should be somewhat 
modified, and that it should be recognised that boys and girls, 
above 12 years of age, who are employed agriculturally, are 
really receiving a technical education, which may be of more 
advantage to them in after life than much of the learning of the 





ViRGiio in the second Georgic, gives a charming picture of the 
husbandman's life:— "O! too happ>' husbandmen," he says; 
" if they only knew their blessings. For them, of herself, far 
from the clash of arms, the earth, all righteous, pours from her 
soil an easy sustenance.'* Then he shows that though they hare 
not the noble mansions and the manifold luxuries and pleasures 
of the rich, they have what is still better : — " Yet a life secure 
and quiet; a life that is free from guile, and enriched with 
various treasures ; yet hours of ease in open fields, grottoes, and 
living lakes, and cool Tempe vales, and the lowing of kine, and 
soft slumber beneath the trees are not wanting ; theirs are the 
woodlands and the haunts of wild beasts, and youths inured to 
toil and accustomed to little ; the f acred rites of the gods, and 
fathers held in reverence." Cowper, Thomson, Bums, and 
others of our poets have also sung of the pleasures of a country- 
life. Kuskin says : — "To watch the com grow or the blossoms 
set ; to draw hard breath over ploughshare or spade ; to read, to 
think, to love, to pray— these are the things that make men 

The object of this chapter is to give a sketch of home life in 
our parish as it was lived in the first quarter of the century. The 
old people were careful to keep up old customs. The week 
between Christmas and the New Year was regarded as in a sense 
sacred. No labour was done, unless looking after the beasts, 
and other works of necessity and mercy. To give a survival of 
this old belief. Said Lachlan Macbean to his neighbour Thomas 
Grant, on Christmas mom (1800), ''^Mbheilsihhdtas TkamahT^-- 
"Are you ready, Thomas?" that was, to go to the games. 


** Chan eil, Lachlaifi ; gim ioireadh Dia maiiheanas domk^ b' eiginn 
domk greim chuir air /no brbg mu'n burtain mi falbk*' — *' No, 
Lachlan, may God forgive me, I had to put a stitch in my brogue 
before I could go out." " Dia, eadar mise 's do chuideachd'' — 
** God be between me and your company," was the reply. Even 
such simple work as mending a shoe was regarded by these old 
folks as putting a man under ban, so that his company for the 
(lay was not desirable. It was a happy time. Kindly greetings 
were heard everywhere. '' Bliadhna mhaith uir dhuibh'' — "A 
good New Year to you," was what one said to another as they 
met. Out of doors the time was spent in target-shooting, playing 
ball (camag), and other games, the young taking an active part, 
and the old looking on, with kindly interest, and many a back- 
ward glance to the days that had been. In the house the feast 
was spread, and friends met and made merry together. Scott 
says — 

"A Christmas gambol oft would cheer 
The poor man's heart through half the year," 

and this agrees with the Gaelic proverb, " Ollaig dhon gun bhthgh^ 
nC nach maireadh i dhuinn gufeill Bride'' — '* Christmas poor and 
sapless, that did not last to the fair of St Bride (ist February)." 
No doubt the time had its temptations. Evil was mixed with 
good, but that, alas, is the common danger wherever people come 
together. The Rev. Mr Martin used to speak of Christmas as 
''An Ollaig dhubh'' *'the black Christmas," perhaps it was from 
his experiences in Skye and Inverness rather than Abemethy. 
The time for beginning work in the fields depended upon the 
weather. Sometimes in open seasons the plough would be going 
in January or February, but usually little was done before 
March. The old saying is Biodh efuar na biodh e blath, bi glic as 
cuir do shiol sa MAdri" " Be it cold or warm, be wise and sow in 
March." Another common word is " ^ chiad Mhdrt leig seackad ; 
an data Mart ma *s eudar, an treas Mart cuir sa pholl'' " The first 
March (Tuesday) let pass, the second if need be, the third sow in 
the pool." This was according to the old style, and the third 


week of March would be the first week of April new style. 
When the sowing was over, mossing began, an important time 
before coal had been introduced, and when people were 
dependent on peats for fuel. 

The School Examination was an important event. It was 
generally held about the end of March. Some have spoken in 
derision of these examinations, but there can be no doubt that, as 
a rule, they were of the highest advantage and had a salutary- 
effect both upon the master and the children. In our parish, 
prizes obtained by subscriptions from parents and friends were 
always given to the most deserving scholars, and in this way not 
only were life and emulation kept up, but many a good book 
circulated when books were rare, fitted to exert a healthy 
influence upon the 3'oung. 

Fas fern's Ken (G. lA Inid), though it had lost its meaning as 
the evening before the first day of Lent, was notable as the time 
for the annual Cock-fight Probably this was a survival of the 
carnival revels which used to be held at that season in Roman 
Catholic days. It is said that cock-fighting came from Greece, 
and that it owed its origin to a speech by the great soldier 
Themistocles. It was verj- popular in Bngland from the daj's of 
Henry II. It is said to have been introduced into Scotland 
about the beginning of the eighteenth century by a fencing 
master named Mackric, and spread rapidly. With the milder 
manners of our time it has been abolished, but it continued in 
the Highlands till recently, and there are people still living, the 
writer being one, who took part in these contests in their youth. 
In this parish the custom was observed in the following way :— 
Lists were made out the day before Shrove Tuesday. Tickets 
were then drawn from a bonnet, for which each boy paid four- 
pence. Next day the competitors assembled with their friends, 
girls were excluded. The end of the school was fitted up for the 
fight, and the head scholar generally presided. He called out 
No. I, No. 2, and those who held these tickets set down their 
cocks. Perhaps two combats went on at the same time. When 


all the cocks had their turn, judgment was given. An Righ^ the 
King, was the cock that had vanquished the greatest number. 
Then came the Bhan-righ, or Queen, then the Ballach, or Knave, 
and last the Saigkdeajan, or Soldiers. The cocks that were 
killed, and such as did not fight and were declared ^/gt«, became 
the perquisite of the Dominie. The entry money also fell to 
him. The owner of the King was duly crowned with a tinsel 
crown, decorated with ribbons, and used to be kirked on the 
Sunday, and also to claim certain privileges in the School, such 
as interceding on behalf of culprits for some time after (till 
Donaich na Chisge), The last cock -fight in Strathspey is said 
to have been held at Cromdale about 1837. 

The two principal Fairs were George Fair and Figgat Fair. 
The former properly belonged to Abernethy, and used to be held 
at Balnagown, and in earlier days in the churchyard ; but when 
the new village of Grantown was established, it was transferred 
to it. These fairs were largely frequented. They broke the 
monotony of the year, and old and young flocked to them, some 
for business, all for pleasure. 

Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals diversified life then, as 
they do still. Baptisms were at the homes, but marriages were 
generally performed in church. Down to the beginning of the 
centu^3^ Lykwakes were common. Sir ^neas Mackintosh says 
in his notes:— *' The bod}' is dressed and laid out, as in other 
countries ; during the night all the deceased's Relations and 
acquaintances convene to watch the Bod}-, and this ceremony is 
called Late Wake ; a good fire is put on fif in winter), plenty of 
whisky and snuff goes round, the young folks play at several 
Country Games, while the graver sort tell tales of Ghosts and 
Hobgoblins, every word of which they believe. As late as the 
year 1740 Music was introduced, and the nearest Relation began 
the dance. It must have been really ridiculous to see a Widow 
taken to dance, with tears in her eyes." This agrees with 
the custom still in use in Spain, as shewn in Philip's 
famous picture of the ** Gloria." One of the games common 


in Strathspey was called Marbhadh a Bhodaich — Killing the 
Bodach. It was played in this way : — First a stout pin was 
fixed in the floor. This had a bonnet placed on it, and was 
called the " Bodachr The challenger stood at the further end of 
the room. Two short sticks were given him. Taking one in 
each hand, he bent forward till they reached the ground, and he 
could rest his weight upon them. Then he called out to the 
*' Bodach"' that he was coming. Carefully poising himself, he 
lifted one stick and made a step forward ; then he did the same 
with the other, and so on. Some one of the bystanders asked 
him, " What did the • Bodach' do to you ? " The answer perhaps 
was, •* He murdered my father," or such like. This led to 
further dialogue. There was ample scope for wit and satire. 
Under the convenient form of the *' Bodach,'* popular feeling as 
to ordinar>' persons and things, even as high as lairds and 
factors, found an outlet. Perhaps the first who tried the ad\"en- 
ture failed. Others also came to grief. At last, in spite of 
inequalities in the floor, and all the flouts and jeers that could be 
brought to bear on him, the hero of the night makes his way 
close to the " Bodach'' This was the crisis Face to face with 
his victim, he addressed him by name, proclaimed his crime, and 
poured out on him his wrath and scorn. Then deftly raising his 
right hand, he smites him to the ground, amid the shouts and 
laughter of the spectators. 

Funerals were decently conducted, but sometimes they were 
marred by excess in the use of whisky. The people came from 
great distances, perhaps in cold and stormy weather, and it was 
thought mean and unkind not to treat them liberally, but this 
was sometimes carried too far. On one occasion of a funeral, 
the men were assembled in the barn, and being served with 
refreshments. Already two rounds of whisky had been given, 
and one of the attendants asked the master if he should give any 
more. *'\Vait till I see," he replied. Then he went and 
listened at the door, and came back saying, *' Give them another 
round, for I like to hear a loud buzz among them before we 


start, like bees in a hive before they swarm I " There has be^n 
a great improvement as to the conducting of funerals ; there is 
not only sobriety, but more of solemnity, and there is almost 
always prayer at the grave as well as in the house* 

The Scurament of the Lord's Supper was usually dispensed in 
July. The ser\dces began on the Thursday, as fast-day. On the 
Friday a prayer meeting was held, but the custom of " speaking 
to the question " was not in use. Saturday was the preparation 
day, and Monday was set apart for thanksgiving. The Sabbath 
was the great day of the feast, '' Latha mbr^ia-cuilm'' The 
congregation would be very large, as not only did all parishioners 
able to come out attend, not a few coming who were seldom seen 
on other Sundays, but also many people from all the parishes 
round. The services were in both Gaelic and English, the 
Gaelic being in the church-yard and the English in the church. 
All the tables were served in the church. The minister had 
always the aid of two or three of his brethren Mr Kennedy, 
Redcastle ; Mr Fraser, Kirkhill ; Mr Maclachlan, Moy ; Mr 
Shepherd, Kingussie ; and Mr Grant, Cromdale, were the 
ministers who usually assisted Mr Martin. Their services were 
greatly appreciated. The week was a holy week, like the 
Passover among the Jews. It was looked forward to with hope, 
it was passed through with sacred awe, and it was remembered 
with thankfulness, as a time of refreshment and blessing from 
the Lord. By many its hallowed influence was felt through all 
the year. 

The Harvest was a time of much anxiety. When all went 
well there was gladness, but if frost came earl3% and the season 
was cold and inclement, the hearts of many were made sad and 
fearful. The com was cut with the hook— it was before the day 
of reapers, though scythes had begun to be used— and a pleasant 
thing it was to see a band of shearers at work, and to watch their 
progress from day to day, till the last sheaf was cut, and the 
" Clyack " was carried home, to be set up in some honoured 
place till the next season, as a token of rest and hope. The 


harvest closed with Harvest Home^ when master and servants, 
old and ^-oung, feasted and made merry, together. Nor was the 
*'joy of harvest" seen only in the home gatherings, it was also 
shewn, in a higher manner, in the Church, when the people 
came together to render thanks unto the Lord for His goodness 
and His wonderful works. 

The historian Lecky tells us that Sea-batkiug was brought 
into repute by a book on consumption, by Dr R. Russell, pub- 
lished in 175a Cowper refers rather slightingly to this new 
custom in his poem on ** Retirement " : — 

" But now alike, gay widow, virgin wife. 
Ingenious to diversify dull life. 
In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys, 
Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys ; 
And all, impatient of dry land, agree 
With one consent to rush into the sea." 

Highlanders were great believers in the virtues of salt water, and 
going to the Coast, *' doi thun na Machair'^ was an annual 
excursion with many. It was thought a good thing if even a 
day could be spent by the sea-side, or even a single dip got in 
the sea ! 

The Killing of tht Mart was a great day in the farm-houses. 
Much had to be done, in cutting up, in salting, in making white 
and black puddings, in preparing the tallow for candles, the 
horns for spoons, and the skin for brogues and waistcoats. 
There was always ** fullness " in the house at such a time, and 
while friends were remembered, the poor were not foi^otten. 

The winters were long, and often severe. What work was 
done was mostly indoors. Then might be heard the cheerful 
sound of the flail in the mornings, and the busy hum of the 
spinning wheel at night. When supper was past there would be 
a pleasant gathering by the fireside. Perhaps some neighbour 
came in, and the news of the place was talked of, or some casual 
guest, like Josie Watt, enlivened the evening with his whistle and 


his songs. Many of the country girls were good singers, and 
some may remember how eagerly they listened, in the days of 
long ago, to the good old ballads of Sir James the Rose, the 
Trumpeter of Fyvie, and the Baron of Brackley. Crodhchailau 
was seldom left out, and on Sabbath evenings the hymns and 
spiritual songs of Dugald Buchanan, and our own Peter 
Grant, were often sung. There are two Gaelic sayings, which 
may be cited to illustrate the custom of our fathers at their 
•' ceilidhs," or social meetings. The first is, " A chiad sgeul air 
fear-an-tighe, 's gach sgeul gu Ihth air an aoidh " — *' The first story 
from the host, and tales till morning from the guest" This saying 
is one, like not a few others, that forms a link with the East, and 
the days of the Arabian Nights and the good Haroun Alraschid. 
Another is, ^^ Am fear a th^ amis a ckhil biodh a shuil air an teine^^ 
— ** He that's in the comer let his eye be on the fire." ** That is 
a pleasant reminiscence," says Sheriff Nicholson, **of the old 
Highland life, calling up a picture of a cosy gathering round the 
central peat fire, when stories were told, riddles proposed, or 
songs sung. The person in the comer, where a heap of peats was 
piled, was bound to keep his eye on the fire, and throw peats on 
when required." (Gaelic proverbs, p. 17). 

" Hanc olim veteres vitam coluere Sabini^ 

"This life of yoie the antique Sabiues lived, and Remus too, and 
his brother ; so I ween brave Etruria grew, and Rome became the 
mistress of the world." 




*' The hills are almost totally covered with dark heath, and even 
that appears checked in its growth. What is not heath is 
nakedness, a little diversified now and then by a stream rushing 
down the steep. An eye aocustoaed to ilowery pastsres and 
waving harvests is astonished and repelled by this wide extent 
of hopeless sterility." Such is Dr Johnson's picture of a High- 
land landscape. Captain Burt writes to the same effect, and calls 
the hills " monstrous excrescences," "rude and offensive to the 
sight," *• of a dismal gloomy brown," *' and, most of all, disagree- 
able when the heath is in bloom." He says that "if an 
inhabitant of the south of England were to be brought blindfold 
into some narrow, rocky hollow, enclosed with these horrid 
prospects, and there to have his bandage taken off, he would be 
ready to die with fear, as thinking it impossible he should ever 
get out to return to his native country." Our Gaelic poets, 
from Ossian downwards, had a higher idea of Highland scenery, 
and they have found many in these last days to agree with them. 
Shelley says — 

" I love all waste 
And solitary places ; where we taste 
The pleasure of believing what we see 
Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be," 

Currer Bell tells us that her *' sister Emily loved the moors. 
Flowers brighter than the rose bloomed in the bleakest of the 
heath for her ; out of a sullen hollow in a livid hillside her mind 
could make an Eden. She found in the bleak solitude many and 
dear delights, and not the least and best loved was — liberty." 


Dora Wordsworth writes — " I can always walk over a moor with 
a light foot ; I seem to be drawn more closely to nature in such 
places than anywhere else, or rather I feel more strongly the 
power of nature over me, and am better satisfied with myself for 
being able to find enjoyment in what unfortunately to many 
persons is either dismal or insipid." Sir Walter Scott writes to 
Washington Irving (Introduction to the ** Lay of the Last 
Minstrel") — " I like the ver>' nakedness of the land ; it has some- 
thing bold, stem, and solitary about it. When I have been for. 
some time in the rich scenery about Edinburgh, which is like 
ornamental garden land, I begin to wish myself back again 
among my own honest grey hills," and then he adds, in words 
that cannot but touch the heart of all true Scotsmen, " and if I 
did not see the heather at least once a year I think I should die /" 
Dr Johnson used to say, " I^t us take a walk down Fleet Street*' 
— let us take a walk now and again to the moors, to Connage, 
Sliamore, or Lurg, and if we know anything of their secret, 
instead of being '* astonished and repelled," we shall be sure ** to 
find enjoyment," and return invigorated in mind and body. 

'* And what comes next ? a lovely moor 
Without a beaten way, 
And grey clouds sailing slow before 
A wind that will not stay." 

— George Macdonald, 

As we look around, one thing that strikes us is the numbei of 
terraces. They are very marked in the line of the Nethy, and 
speak powerfully of the far-off days of ice and glaciers. Another 
thing very notable is the wonderful effects of water power. We 
see this in miniature in the tiny stream that "trickles under 
moss, whose liveliest green betrays the secret of its silent 
course." We see it still more clearly in the deep channels cut 
by the streams through the mosses, but we see it on the grandest 
scale in the ravines made by the rivers through the drift and 
gravel in the course of the ages. Habakkuk (iii. 9), sees in this 


the hand of God. " Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers." In 
many places on the moors and hillsides we may observe cairns 
and hut circles, the latter generally near a spring, memorials of 
our rude forefathers. 

The plant that thrives best in the moors is the Heather. It is 
hard and wir>% and adapted to the moors as the camel is to the 
desert. Other plants have no chance against it, save in specially 
favoured spots. Everywhere we find the struggle for existence- 
As Mr Grant Allen says—** The very fact that plants can hardly 
move at all from the spot where they grow makes the competition 
in the end all the fiercer. They are perpetually intriguing among 
stones and crannies to insert their roots here, and to get beforehand 
on their rivals with their seedlings there ; they fight for drops of 
water after summer showers, like the victims shut up in the Black 
Hole of Calcutta ; they spread their leaves close in rosettes along 
the ground, so as to monopolise space, and kill down competi- 
tion ; they press upwards towards the sun, so as to catch the first 
glance of the beautiful rays, and to grasp before their neighbours 
at any floating speck of carbonic acid. This is no poetic fancy. 
It is sober, and literal, biological truth.'* Besides the Heather, or 
Ling {Calluna vulgaris), and the two heaths (Efica cincrea and E, 
tdralix), there are many other plants worth noticing. Here you 
may find the oldest of plants, the Lycopodhim, which dates 
back to the geological period called the Silurian. Of this there 
are two varieties, the Stags' Horn Club Moss (/,. clava(nm) and the 
finer and rarer Alpine (Z*. Alpinum), Club mosses were formerly 
thought good for eye complaints. The yellow dust from the seed 
bums rapidly, and was at one time used for producing imitation 
lightning on the stage. Here also you may find the cutiousest of 
plants, the Flesh-eating Sundew ^Droscra rolundi/olia). Like the 
Butterwort and Venus Fly-trap, the Sundew has the power of 
feeding upon insects. When a fly alights on the leaf, it is held 
fast. The hairs or tentacles bend slowly inward towards it, and 
on touching it they pour out an acid fluid, that acts like digestive 
juice, enabling the plant to absorb the dissolved matter as food. 


This curious process is well described in the quaint lines by Mr 
Alfred Knight— 

** You really mean it ? Yon round-leaved plant of modest 
Eats little moths and ants and flies ? 
Why, yes, I've seen it ! . . . 
Those clammy paws are gins and snares ; 
The gems that crown those ruddy hairs 
And look like drips of morning dew 
Are baits, ye insect world, for you, 
And hide a purpose dire and bloody. 

Ye thirsty strollers, 
O'er each honeyed flow'r and stem and leaf 
Which each for you its dewdrop wears, 
If ever you should come to grief 
On yonder hairs, 

How vain your dolours ! 
They'll hold you with their balls of glue 
Till they have made a meal of you. 
Then shun, ye little insect bands. 
The Drosera, whose pepsin glands 

Do work for stomach, claws, and molars ! " 

Here also you may find the use/ullest of plants — the Grass, in 
various forms. The Cotton-grass {Eriophorum), with its white, 
silky, cotton-like heads, is conspicuous in the miry places. This 
plant sends out at first a dark shoot, called in Gaelic Ceann dubh, 
black head. At this stage it is sweet and juicy, and deer come 
from far to feed upon it. In Sutherland it is found very useful, 
and supplies sheep with nourishment when other food is scarce. 
Mr Dixon, in '* Field and Fern," says :— " The Cotton plant or 
mossy grasses in the lower ranges lie very little above sea level, 
and tide the sheep through the winter and spring months, when 
those on the Border hills are generally hid in snow wreaths on 
the summits. This plant is, in fact, as much the making of 
Sutherland as its prototype is of Manchester." Mr Ruskin has 
the following beautiful passage as to the " Grass of the Field " : — 
** Follow but for a little time the thought of all that we ought to 


recognise in these words. All spring and summer is in them, 
the walks by silent scented paths, the rests in noonday heat, the 
joy of the herds and flocks, the power of all shepherd life and 
meditation, the life of sunlight upon the world falling in emerald 
streaks and soft blue shadows, when else it would have struck on 
the dark mould or scorching dust ; pastures beside the pacing 
brooks, soft banks and knolls of lowly hills ; thymy slopes of 
down overlooked by the blue line of lifted sea ; crisp lawns all 
dim with early dew, or smooth in evening warmth of barred 
sunshine, dinted by happy feet softening in their fall the sound 
of loving voices." 

Here in the moor you may also find the beauii/uilest of our 
plants. Tastes differ. Some would put one flower first and 
some another. Linnaeus knelt before the gorse or broom when 
he first saw it in its golden splendour. Bums also sings its 
praises as more loved than the flowers of foreign lands — 

** Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers. 
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen, 
And where, lightly tripping among the sweet flowers, 
A-listening the linnet, oft wanders my Jean." 

But perhaps with most the Pox-glove has the pre-eminence. 
The proper name is Foiks-gXox^, that is, the Glove of the Fairies. 
In Gaelic it is called Lm mhr^ for its height and stateliness, and 
Mmran-na-mnaikan sith, ** Fairy Thimbles." It was believed to 
be peculiarly sensitive to the presence of these good folk, and its 
frequent bendings and bowings were regarded as salutations 
made to them. The Fox-glove does not grow amongst the 
heather, but in gravel banks and sunny places by the streams. 

The moors are largely frequented by birds, especially in 
summer. Here you may watch the curious flight of the peewit, 
and listen to the shrill cr>' of the curlew, the whistle of the 
plover, and the sweet song of the lark, now rarely heard in our 
fields. Grouse are common. Once when crossing a moor in 
winter a curious thing happened. There was a very strong 


breeze, and a covey of grouse that had been started flew down 
the wind close to the ground with amazing swiftness. A little 
ahead there was a wire fence,* and it seemed likely some of the 
birds had come against it. This turned out to be the case. One 
bird lay at the foot of the fence quite dead, and following on two 
more were found, stiff and frozen, that had come to grief 
previously. What we see and what we feel in moorland rambles 
depends mostly on ourselves. " We receive but what we give." 
Memories and associations will vary with various minds. 

" I crossed a moor with a name of its own, 

And a use in the world no doubt ; 
Yet a handsbreadth shines alone of it, 

Mid the blank miles round about. 
For I picked up in the heather. 

And there I put aside in my breast 
A moulted feather— an Eagle's feather — 

Well, I forget the rest" 

Once in the Cathedral of Antwerp a grand funeral service was 
being performed. When the procession had passed out, I picked 
up a spray of heath that had fallen from the coffin. It spake to 
me then of the dear homeland, but now it has another voice, and 
tells of friends that have passed away, and glorious things to be 
seen no more. 




The weather is an unfailing subject of interest No wonder. 
Everybody is concerned. Life and work, health and pleasure, 
and all the goings on of humanit>' are affected by the weather. 
This holds true not only of individuals and families, but of com- 
munities. The rise and fall of prices, the movements of trade 
and commerce, the action of governments, the peace of nations, 
and the comfort and wellbeing of peoples of every country and 
clime are influenced by the weather. It is reasonable, therefore, 
that there should be much talk and guessing, and conferring as 
to a matter of such universal importance. It is reasonable, also, 
that signs and forecasts should have been established from 
observation and experience, and handed down from generation 
to generation. It is with such traditional opinions or judgments 
that we are to deal. We do not pretend to treat the subject 
scientifically; nor do we presume to speak as one versed in 
modern meteorology, with its daily " forecasts '* and " warnings," 
and its yearly reports of percentages of " complete success " and 
" partial failure.'* 

Our fathers were great observers of The Clouds. The Bull- 
Cloud was anxiously looked for on the last night of the year ; 
and the aspects of the clouds, morning and evening, were care- 
fully scanned at all seasons. B3mack, lying to the south and 
standing up prominently from the Larig, was watched. If the 
hill was cloud-capped in the morning, this was regarded as a 
sign of rain. *' 7hm aimuhd air a* bheinn ; sid an t-utsge 
*tighinn,*' ** The ben has its night-cap on ; that's the rain 
coming." Similar sayings are common. ** When Ingleboro 
wears a hat, Ribblesdale will hear o' that" '*When Cheviot 
ye see put on his cap, of rain ye'U have a wee bit drap." 


The sea is forty miles off, and not seen save from the hills ; 
but the clouds, rising from the sea, are often well marked. One 
kind bears the curious name of Banff-Baiiies. These white 
clouds rise in the north-east— big, bulging, protuberant, towering 
high, but often toppling over into confused masses. In the 
drought of summer their appearance was hailed as a sign of 
rain. Another well marked cloud is that commonly called 
The Mackerel Sky. It takes the form of a line of small clouds, 
stretching across the sky generally from south-west to south- 
east, speckling it like a shoal of fish or a flock of sheep. It is 
regarded as a sign of good weather. There are two forms of the 
saying as to this cloud —one of the hills, the other of the sea- 
.shore. *' Breac-mhuiltein air an athar*' says the hillsman ; 
*' Brcac-rionnaich,'' says the mariner ; but in both cases the 
forecast is the same, ** Laiha math fnhireach,'' '* A good day 
to-morrow.'* After stormy days, with rain, an opening in the 
clouds to the west (over the gatfisotij Fort- Augustus, as was said 
in Abernethy), or in the north-east, if the clouds are moving 
southward, was regarded as a good sign. This is well put in the 
saying: *' Tha latach buain-fhdid air an athar ; ni e laiha malh 
maircach,'' *' There's a mark of turf-cutting in the sky ; 'twill be 
a fine day to-morrow." The belief as to a red sky in the morning 
being indicative of storms, is tersely expressed in the saying : 
'' Dearg sa mhaduinn, /earg mu *n cadail^^ '*A rosy morning, a 
wrathful evening." 

The Winds were carefully watched. There is an old saying 
as to the direction of the wind on the last night of the year — 

** Gaoth deas, teas 's toradh ; 
Gaoth niar, iasg 's bainne ; 
Gaoth tuath, fuach 's gaillionn ; 
Gaoth near, tart 's crannadh," 

'* South wind, heat and produce ; 
West wind, fish and milk ; 
North wind, cold and tempest ; 
East wind, drought and withering." 



The East wind was variously regarded, probably according to 
the locality. Its effects might be adverse in one place and 
favourable in another. Kiugsley, in Devonshire, stands up for 
it boldly : ** 'Tis the hard grey weather breeds hard English- 
men " ; and then, at the end of his ode, he says : — 

** Come ; and strong within us stir the Viking blood. 
Bracing brain and sinew ; blow, thou wind of God ! " 

This is like the words of the shepherd who reproved Lord Cock- 
burn : ** WTiat ails ye at the east win' ? It freshens the grass ; it 
slockens the yowes — and its God's wniU." In the West Highlands 
it is said, Gaoih near, meas air chrannibh, "With East wind, 
fruit on the trees." In Wales the East wind is called the Wind 
of the Dead men*s feet. This beautiful and touching expression 
arose from the custom of burning people with their feet to the 
east, to wait the Lord's coming, and at the resurrection to meet 
Him face to face. But with us the wind bears a darker 
name. It is called Caoth va viaoim, "Wind of the meams." 
and G, na seicean, ** The wind of the skins." This latter name is 
ver\' significant It brings up a picture of sore distress : blasted 
grass, star\'ing flocks, and famine-stricken households. The 
rafters, once bare, are now crowded with skins, telling how death 
has been busy in the flocks and herds. Another wind that was 
disliked was that called the Strathdearn Pipers^ which made a 
\.!iistling noise through crevices in the doors and windows in a 
way that foreboded a coming storm. 

Th;i backing of the wind, turning north and west, was regarded 
as a bad sign ; but the movement of the wind, along with the 
sun (deasail)y was looked upon as a favourable prognostic. 
There is a saying which marks the three coldest winds, Gaoth 
roimh *n aitcamh^ *s gaoih troimh tholl ; *s gaoth nan long tha dot 
fo sheol : na tri gaothan a b' fhuaire dh' fairich Fionn riamh, 
"Wind before thaws, wind through a hole ; wind of ship when 
hoisting sail : the three coldest Fingal ever felt" 


The behaviour of animals was thought to be significant, as 
they were supposed to have some secret premonition or know- 
ledge of coming changes of the weather. It was said of the Bee : 
7 ha *n scUhan fo dh)on ; ihiir gaillion 's siafi, "The bee keeps 
close ; storm and showers are coming/' Of the Gat, it was said, 
Tha^ji cat siui luaih ; thigfrasanfuar, **The cat's in the ashes; 
it's going to rain." The Leech was supposed to be specially 
weather-wise. It was believed to keep the bottom of the bottle, 
in which it was kept, in calm weather ; to move restlessly before 
wind, and to cling to the side, near the top, before rain or snow. 
The Gaelic proverb is, Tha '« deala snamh ; thig frasan blath 
7'oimh fheasgair, "The leech is swimming; warm showers will 
come before evening." Grouse coming down to the low grounds, 
and wild fowl shifting to the coast were regarded as signs of a 
severe winter. Plants also were noted. The shutting-up of the 
flowers of the daisy, the wood-sorrel, and the pimpernel was 
held to be sign of approaching rain. It was said, Tha t-seamrag 
a pasgadh a comhdaich roimh thuiltean doU teach, "The shamrock 
is folding her clothing before heavy rains." The Moon was 
much studied. Changes of weather, for good or bad, were 
thought likely soon after full or new moon. One .saying was. 
Ceo 'n t'Sheann shotus ; cath *n solus iir, " Fog with the old moon ; 
drift with the new." It might be said that the old belief referred 
to by Virgil was universally cherished : " Ipse Patet statuit quid 
menstrua Luna monerit'' "The Great Father hath ordained the 
monthly warnings of the Moon." 

The Seasons were characterised by special names. Spring 
began with the Faoitttcach, corresponding with Februar>'. The 
word is supposed by some to mean the Wolf month (Japl, a 
wolf) ; but others, with more probability, derive it from faotidh^ 
joyful. Some time in this month three warm days were supposed 
to come in exchange for three cold days lent to summer. Hence 
the saying, Tha tre la luchair san Faoillteach, *s tre la Faoillteach 
san luchair, " There are three of the Dog-days in February, and 
three days of February in the Dog-days." Then came a week 


called the Fcndag, or plover, probably so called from the chill, 
whistling winds then prevalent. After the Feudag came the 
Gearran, or gelding, which was the worst by far of the two. 

'* Is mise an Fheadag 16m, luirgneach, luath ; 
Marbhain caora, marbhain nan. 
Is niise an Gearran bacach ban, 
*S cha mhi aon bhonn a 's fhearr ; 
Cniream a bho amis an toll, 
Gns an tig an tonn thar a ceaun," 

** Fm the Plover, bare, leggy, and swift ; 
I will kill both sheep and lamb. 
I*m the Gelding, lame and white. 
Not one bit better ; 
ril put the cow in the hole. 
Till the wave comes over her head." 

After the Gearran came the Caillcach, or Old Woman, which 
lasted a week in April. She is described as a wicked wretch, 
trying hard to beat down every green thing with her beetle 
(slachdan). Then came the three days of the ewes (tre la nan 
ois^*:an), which the Highlanders held were mild days given in 
mercy for the sake of the ewes and lambs. ** After the withering 
Cailleach comes the lively Sgtiabagy the Brushlet, or Little 
Blast, and thenceforth the Spring goes on merrily — Siias e 'n 
t'Earrach, * Up with the Spring.' Last of all came the pleasant 
Vciiein, foretaste of Summer, supposed to include the three 
weeks up to the 12th May, followed by the cheery note of the 
Cuckoo on Yellow May-day — * La buidhe Beailiuifi * — when the 
powers of cold and darkness have been overcome once more, 
and the world is gladdened by the returning reign of Light and 
Warmth."— (Nicholson's ** Gaelic Proverbs," p. 414). 

The wearing away of the snow on the moinitains was noted. 
Burt describes ** the deep, wide, winding hollows ploughed into 
the sides " of the hills, and says : ** When the uppermost waters 
begin to appear with white streaks in their cavities, the inhabit- 
ants who are within view of the height say, ' The Grey Mar('s tail 


begins to ,grocv,* and it serves to them as a monitor of ensuing 
peril, if at that time they venture far from home, because they 
might be in danger, by waters, to have all communication cut 
off between them and shelter or sustenance " (Vol. I., p. 284). 
Humboldt tells that on the Andes the people mark time by 
saying, ** The Cross begins to bend" ; that is, the constellation 
called the Cross. With us the coming of summer is noted by a 
sign, not from the heavens but the earth, the state of the great 
snow wreath on Cairngorm, called the Cuidhe Crom^ ** The bent 
or crooked wreath." It is said, ** The Cuidh-Crom begins to break." 
The break commences at the middle, extending upwards, and to 
each side, till the whole wears gradually away. It is counted a 
late season if the Cuidh-Crom does not break in May, and if the 
whole wreath has not disappeared by the middle or end of June. 




In our churchyard there is a tombstone to the menior>' of 
Norman Macleod, Chamberlain to the Earl of Cromartie, who 
died at Achernack in 17 15. This is a stranger's grave. Mr 
Macleod had crossed the firth to Abernethy to drink goat-milk. 
The first season he seemed to benefit much. The next he 
returned, but it was not to recruit but to die. Others have been 
more fortunate. The late Mr Robert Urquhart, town clerk, 
Forres, was delicate in his youth, and threatened with con- 
sumption. He came for two or three summers to Lettoch, and 
the goat-milk and bracing air quite restored his health. He 
grew up to be a robust, active man of business, and lived to be 
over 90 years of age. In books referring to the last century, the 
virtues of goat-milk is frequently noticed. Thus, in the *' Lives 
of the Haldanes," it is said, '* It was customary in those days 
(^1776), as it now is in Switzerland, to resort to places in the 
country to drink goat-milk and goat-whey." Sir Walter Scott 
has several references of the same kind. Goats were once very 
numeious in our parish. In Glenmore, Tulloch, and the Braes, 
they were kept in large flocks, and carefully managed. But tht* 
keeping them has been given up. Except at Achgourish, in 
Kincardine, they are now seldom seen save in twos and threes 
about some of the outlying houses and crolts. The habits of 
goats are peculiar Their independence, their sure-footedness, 
tlieir power of foraging for themselves and for their young, and 
their love of tlic plants and herbs of the hills, prove that tliey 
were mountain born ; while tlieir horns, w^liich they can lay 
back on their shoulders, and their thick strong fleeces, which 
somehow never seem to tangle, or get fast in thorns, as so often 


happens to silly sheep, show how they have come in the course 
of the ages to arm themselves against the difficulties and dangers 
of their surroundings. 

Goats were considered very valuable. Their horns and skins 
were turned to varied uses. Their grease was held as a cure for 
sprains. Their flesh was classed as venison, and that of kids was 
regarded as a delicacy. But it was their miik that was most 
valued. It was believed to possess special virtues from the herbs 
which the goats fed upon, and it was much relied upon for the 
strengthening of weak constitutions, and for eradicating the 
tendency to consumption. The Gaelic proverb classes goat- 
milk, with garlick and May butter, as a cure for all diseases — 

*' Is leigheas air gach tinn, creamh *s im a mhaigh, 
01 'an fhochair sid, bainne ghobhair ban." 

Another saying is — 

** Bainne nan gobhar fo chobhar *s e blath, 
*S e a chuir spionnadh 's na daoine a bha." 

** Goat-milk, foaming and warm, that was what gave strength to 
the men that were." Goat-milk was also used as a cosmetic — 

**Sail-chuaich 's bainne ghobhar 
Suath ri d' aghaidh 
'S cha'n eil mac-righ air domhain, 
Nach bi air do dheaghaidh." 

** Wash thy face with lotion 
Of goat- milk and sweet violets, 
And there's not a king's son in the world 
But will run after thee." 

The Latin name caper^ and its English derivative capricious^ 
would seem to indicate that goats were considered wilful and 
wayward. However this may have been, they were certainly 
remarkable for aflfection to their young. The kids were hid in 
the heather after the way of roe-deer, but they came to be fed. 


They were tenderly cared for, and showed intelligence early, in 
this being different from calves and lambs. The Gaelic proverb 
says : — ** Ma's dubh, nuCs odhar^ ma's donn is toigh Ids a ghobhair 
a tncann :'* ** Be it black, or dun, or brown, the goat loves her 
kid." The love of their young lasted to two or three generations. 
This was shown in the way the different families ranged them- 
selves in their folds at night. First at the top was the mother, 
then came the rest lying behind in the order of their birth— ^w 
mathair, the mother ; *« nia^keatty the daughter ; an i-ogha, the 
grand-child ; am Jionnogha, the great-grandchild ; and an dubh 
ogha, the great-grandson\s grandson. Goats used to have names 
given them, to which they answered when called at milking 
time — Sineag, Jenny ; Annag, Annie ; and so forth. Thus 
Theocritus makes the shepherd Lacon say, '^Ho! Curly-honi 
(Idyll 5), ho! Swift-foot, leave the tree and pasture eastward 
where ye Bald-head see." Virgil, in the Third Gcorgic, specially 
refers to goats. He shows how much they were prized, and how 
carefully they should be fed and tended. ** I direct that the 
goats be bountifully supplied with leafy arbutus, and fresh water 
from the streams ; and I wish the pens to be turned from the 
wind to face the wintry mid-day sun." Then he says, " In the 
heat of noon see that they carefully seek a shady dell, where a 
mighty oak, Jove's tree, stretches its huge branches from an 
ancient trunk, or where a dark grove of thickly planted holm- 
oaks casts forward its holy shade. Then once more give them 
liquid running water, and again let them feed even to the setting 
sun : when the hour comes that the cool evening freshens the 
air. and the dewy moon gives the la^v^ls new life ; when the 
shores echo to the voice of the halcyon, and the bushes are alive 
with the song of the goldfinch" — (Globe Translation). '*//t 
domum, satunc, vcnii Hesperus, He CapiUce*' — **Go ye home, go, 
my goats, for you have browsed your fill, and the evening star is 
rising" ; so says the Goat-herd in the loth Eclogue. But even 
then his care did not end, for Virgil declares " he who loves milk 
should 7cith his oicn hand bring lucerne and lotus in abundance, 
and salt herbs to their cribs." 


Goats are believed to eat serpents. It is said they leap upon 
their heads with their four feet together as they find them 
basking in the sun. and stamp out their life. Then they eat 
them tail foremost, with a curious crooning noise. This habit is 
referred to in the Gaelic proverb — 

" Cleas na goibhre *g ith* na nathrach, 
Ga sior itheadh, 's a sior-thalach." 

** Like the goat's way with the serpent, 
Still eating, and still complaining." 

The agility and sure-footedness of the goat are well known. 
The following curious problem on the subject has been proposed 
for the solution of mathematicians : — 

*' Supposing a goat, foUowiug a uew path, has to take a leap m as to alight on a 
pinnacle or nanow cnig overhanging some aby»w. Fii-st of all he must estimate the 
rlistaiice to l)e traversed, and having got it, whether by trigonometry or by some 
capricious methwl of his own, he haw next to compute, to the fraction of an ounce, 
how much propulsive force is required to project the body (the exact weight of 
which he has to take into account) precii»ely that distance and not an inch further. 
Moreover, he muMt take into the calculation whether the spot he wishes to reach is 
al)ove «>r IhjIow the starting point ; and pl'iinly his brain, when it sends for motor 
impulses to the numerous muscles involved, must beforehand reckon and a)>portion 
to each it^ share in the task. At the same moment he must also estiiuate the exact 
proportionate amount t>f muscular force which will be required to each of his limbs 
on his new and precarious foothold. Of course, one need scarcely say that the whole 
process goes on without reaching the consciousne«s of the goat, or anything that 
could ever V>y courtesy be called his mind. But, nevertheless, it is obvious that in 
M>mc way or other the calculation is made, and is completed in a time and with an 
unerring accuracy which completely jmt to shame the mathematical triumphs of the 
human intellect.'* 

Wild goats seem now to be recognised as on the same footing 
as deer. In Glenmorc and in Ardnarff, in Ross-shire, the killing 
of wild goats with splendid horns were reported in the sporting 
news of 1898. vSomtimes droll incidents have taken place from 
the ignorance of Sassenachs, and the confusing of goats and 
deer. Colonel Thornton tells an amusing story of this kind. 
His friend, Mr Whittaker, had wished to see a roebuck, but had 


failed to find one. Then, he says, we got a he-goat, and set it in 
an out-of-the-way spot among the rocks, and by talking, 
excited Mr Whittaker's imagination, and when the news was 
brought that a fine roe-deer had been seen, he set out full of 
ardour. The stalk was conducted with much caution. Flat on 
his face, crawling over the rough stones, drenched in the wet 
places, at last the animal was sighted, and Whittaker "judiciously 
and precipitately fired." Believing the deer to be mortally 
wounded, he rushed up to seize him, but he was roughly 
repulsed, and called out for help. Then when help came, great 
was his mortification and shame to be told that it was not a deer 
at all but only a shaven goat. Colonel Thornton nearly fell off a 
steep rock in his convulsion of laughter. There was much 
chaffing and joking, but the gentleman, it is said, took all " with 
such pleasantr>' of temper'* that he di.sarmed the satirical remarks 
of the company. There is a tradition of a similar mistake in our 
parish. A certain English sportsman supposed he had killed a 
fine stag. He was asked " Had it horns !" ''Yes," he answered, 
*' as long as my arm !" But it turned out to be one of Donald 
Fyffe's herd of goats, for which, however, ample compensation 
was made. 

Goat-milk still enjoys a high reputation. In Rome, at 
certain seasons, the goats are brought down from the hills, and 
every morning people come to drink their milk, which is con- 
sidered as an excellent blood purifier. In London, at Kensington, 
goat-milk is advertised for sale in the shop windows. Probably 
if proper arrangements were made in our parish— say near 
Nethy-Bridge — for a goat farm, and supply of milk and whey, is 
might prove an additional attraction to the place. Perhaps the 
greatest honour conferred on goats is that of being chosen as the 
pets of the Cambrian regiments. It is a fine sight to see a 
shaggy he-goat marching along with the stately Drum-Major, 
bearing on his forehead the proud motto, in Welsh. '* Gwell 
angan na ClncUydd'"—"' Better death than shame." 




At Castle Grant there are portraits, life-size, of two famous 
Highlanders. The one is that of a piper, who is represented in 
full dress, the streamers of his pipes bearing the Grant arms, 
with the motto ** Stand fast." In the background is a view of 
the Castle. This is said to represent the Champion Piper of 
the time, who was not a Grant, but a Gumming. The other 
picture is that of a stalwart Highlander brandishing a claymore, 
with a shield in his left hand. Alan Hay Stewart was of opinion 
that this is a portrait of Rob Roy ; but the family tradition is 
that it represents Alastair More, one of the Clan heroes. Both 
pictures are by Waitt, and are dated 17 14. But our business is 
with the Johns, or lans. One of these belonged to Duthil. It 
is said that some time in the 15th century there was a fight 
between the Mackintoshes and tjie Grants. The Mackintoshes 
had made a foray and carried off cattle. They were pursued and 
overtaken in Slochd-muic, near Loch-chearnach. A fight took 
place, in which the Grants got the worst Their Chief was 
badly wounded, and John More, the Duthil hero, carried him 
off the field and bore him for refuge to the parish church. Here 
he died, and was buried, and, according to tradition, it was in 
this way that the Church of Duthil became the burjing-place of 
the Family of Grant. 

Crorndale^ or Advie, had also its John More. He is known as 
lan-na-lite, ** John of the porridge,' and was famous for his great 
strength. He was the (Jeann-tighc^ or head of the branch of the 
Grants called Vlanyi Ckiaran, whose motto is Stand fasty Craig 
Chrocain (^Baliindalloch;. None of John's feats are recorded, save 
his eminence as to the porridge, but he left many descendants. 


Latterly the family were represented by Charles Grant, of Rothie- 
moon, who had five sons. The eldest, James, was for some years 
companion to Earl Lewis, and in 1830 was presented to the 
parish of Cromdale, where he laboured with much ability and 
acceptance for 26 years. He died in 1856, and the tombstone 
erected to his memory by his parishioners and friends bears 
testimony not only to his worth and services, but also to the 
singular charm and loveableness of his character : ** A man 
i^reatly beloved'" The second son, John, was in stature worthy 
of his progenitor of Advie. He stood 6 feet 4 inches high, a 
stalwart, handsome man. He was painted by Mr Macleay, in 
his portraits of the Clans for the Queen, as the representative of 
the Grants. The other .sons were Lewis, Robert, and Francis. 
*• Mr Lewis," as he was called, resided all his days in Abemethy, 
and had been closely associated with all the movements which 
gave life and interest to the society- of Nethy side. In his youth 
he was remarkable for .strength and agilit>% and took a foremos.! 
place in all manly sports. For forty years and more no social 
meeting would have been held complete from which he was 
absent. He was one of nature's gentlemen. His manly presence, 
his kind-heartedness, his store of tradition and story, and his 
gift of song, made him a welcome guest with all classes. For 
the young he had a singular charm. He and they .seemed to 
have a mutual attraction, and were alwuj's happy together. Mr 
Lewis had much of the old clan spirit. He had drunk it in with 
his mothers milk. But, though his devotion to his Chief vms 
strong and true, it never degenerated into ser\nlity. When the 
old feeling broke out with such fervour in the days of the late 
Master of Grant (i^<35-3S.)» Mr Lewis, then in the prime of his 
youth, took an active part, and at later times, when attachment 
to the House of Grant found expression, he was proud, so long 
as he was able, to take his place as the head of the Abernethy 
Men. For some years, owing to old age and failing health, 
and from his living in a more remote locality, he had withdrawal 
almost altogether from society. He died in 1^85. Almost his 


last words were, ** I am going home." The graves of a house- 
hold are generalh, as the poet sings, " scattered far and wide, 
by mount and stream and sea ; " but it is not so with the family 
of Rothiemoon. Father and mother, and their five sons, once 
the pride of Xethy side, lie together in the quiet churchyard of 

Abernethy. — Tradition says that the Baron of Kincardine 
dreamt one night of seeing a white bull in his cattle-yard. He 
consulted a wise woman, and she interpreted that his daughter 
was to bear a son to the Laird of Grant Some time after there 
was a great hunting party in Glenmore, which was attended by 
the Heir of Grant, then a mere youth. It was followed by much 
feasting and carousing. In due time the Baron's daughter bore a 
son, who was called John, after his father, John 2nd of Freuchie, 
called ** The Red Bard." John was brought up at Kincardine. 
He was a man of great stature, and famous for his strength and 
valour. It is said that his father, and also his kinsman, The 
Mackintosh, were incarcerated at Edinburgh, under some charge, 
and that he went to vi.sit them. At the time an English BilHe, 
or prize-fighter, was in the town, and could find no man to match 
him. The Town Council were concerned about the honour of 
Scotland, and offered a lippie of gold to any one who would beat 
the Englishman. John heard of this, and offered to fight the 
Billie. The encounter took place in the High Street The 
Englishman stood upon his defence in the usual way, but John, 
regardless of science, made a rush, caught the Billie in his arms, 
and cast him to the ground with such force that he was killed 
on the .spot. The Magistrates were delighted, and offered John 
payment, but he said ** No." Like his namesake, Johnnie Scott, 
of the Border ballad — 

** * 1*11 none o* your gold,' brave Johnnie said, 
* Nor none o* your other gear ; 
But I will have my own fair bride. 
For I have won her dear.' " 


So he would not have the gold, but said, "Give me, instead, 
what I can carry out of the Castle prison.'* This was agpreed to : 
then John said, ** Bring out the Laird of Grant." This was done, 
and the I^aird put on his back ; then he said, ** Bring The 
Mackintosh now. and put him on tlie top of the Laird." This 
also was done, and John bore them both beyond the gates, and 
gained their freedom. For this, it is said, his father rewarded 
him by a grant of the lands of Glenmoriston, in Urquhart (i509>- 
As he was passing Moy, on the way to his new home. The 
Mackintosh paid him high honour. He made twelve of his men 
lie down in the Burn of Moy to form a bridge, and John 
walked over them, pipers playing, and men shouting his praise. 
This curious ceremonj*^ seemed a survival of the customs of the 
East, and may be compared with the Doseh, or Treading Festival, 
which used to be held at Cairo in celebration of the birth of 
Mahomet, 60 dervishes lying with their faces to the ground, and 
the Sheijkh of Sandeyeh riding over them slowly, amid loud 
cries of " Allah." 

Ian Mor was duly installed as Laird of Glenmoriston, and 
took an active part in the doings of the time. Mr Mackay, in 
his " Urquhart and Glenmoriston," says (p. 112) : ** The death of 
John Grant, first of Glenmoriston — or * of Culcabock,' as he was 
better known in his own day — occurred in 1548, his brother of 
Corriemony having predeceased him in 1533. A man of great 
energj*^ and prudence, whose counsel was much sought by his 
neighbours, he attained to a position of great influence and 
power, and in the end died the proud proprietor of Glenmoriston, 
Culcaboek, Knockintional (on which the Inverness Barracks now 
stand), The Haugh, Carron, Wester Elchies, and Kinchurdie, in 
Strathspey, and the holder of less substantial rights in the 
Western Highlands. His first wife was Elizabeth or Isabella 
Innes. daughter of Walter Innes, and grand-daughter of Sir 
Robert Innes of that Ilk, by whom he had one daughter, 
Isabella. Divorcing her, he entered into union with Agnes, 
daughter of William Fraser, son of Thomas, fourth Lord Lovat. 


This lady and himself were within the forbidden degrees of 
affinity ; and so, with the object of removing the impediment, 
and giving their children the status of legitimacy, he obtained, 
in 1544, a papal dispensation absolving her and himself from the 
crime of incest, enjoining on them * a vsalutary penance,' granting 
liberty to solemnise their marriage in face of the Church, and 
declaring their children legitimate, whether born or to be born. 
Of the union thus sanctioned by the Pope, there was at least one 
son, Patrick, who succeeded his father in his whole possessions, 
except Carron and Wester Elchies, which were respectively left 
to Iain Mor\s natural sons, John Roy, and James.*' The present 
representative of the Bastard of Kincardine, and the 12th Laird, 
is Iain Robert James Murray Grant of Glenmoriston. 




The Honourable Artiller>' Company are said to be the oldest 
Volunteer force in Great Britain. They have an unbroken 
record running back to the old Fraternity of Aitillery or 
Gunners of the Tower, who received a charter of incorporation 
from Henry VIH. in 1537. At various times, and notably 
during the great struggle with Napoleon and the French, the 
patriotic spirit shewed itself strongly in the formation of 
Volunteer Corps. Sir Walter Scott well describes this outburst 
of national enthusiasm (1804) in his novel of ** The Antiquan." 
In a note, he says : ** Almost every individual was enrolled 
either in a military or civil capacity, for the purpose of con- 
tributing to resist the long-suspended threats of invasion which 
were echoed from ever>' quarter. Beacons were erected along 
the coast and all through the country to give the signal for 
ever>' one to repair to the post where his peculiar duty called 
him, and men of ever>' description fit to serve held themselves 
in readiness on the shortest summons." Strathspey was not 
behind in this crisis, and the man to lead was not lacking. 
" At a period when many of the Highland proprietors, actuated 
by a violent frenzy for improvement, were driving whole districts 
of people from the abodes of their forefathers, and compelling 
them to seek for that shelter in a foreign land which was denied 
them in their own ; when absenteeism and the vices of courtly 
intrigue and fashionable dissipation had sapped the morality of 
too many of our landholders. Sir James Grant escaped the 
contagion, and, during a long life, was distingtiished for the 
possession of those virtues which are the surest bulwarks of 
the peace, happiness, and strength of a country. Possessed of 



extensive estates, and surrounded by a numerous tenantry, his 
exertions seemed to he equally devoted to the progressive 
improvement of the one, and the present comfort and enjoy- 

siR JAMES (;i:ani 

ment of the other. On the declaration of the War in 1793, 
Sir James was among the first, if not the very first, to step 
fonvard in the service of his countn' with a regiment of 



Fencibles. raised almost exclusively amon^ his own tenantn"" 
— CKay's ** Portraits *'). Rev. John Grant (O.S.A., 1793) says, 
with some pride : *' It is peculiar to this parish to have two 
heritors who have got each a Fencible Regiment, the Duke of 
Gordon and Sir James Grant, and who have not only raised them 
in three weeks and a few days, but have each of them super- 
numeraries for additional companies in forming a considerable 
part of second battalions, il Government should need them ; 
and all recruited in an easy, discreet, and smooth manner, 
without force or compulsion. Men so pleasantly got, and so 
content when well used, cannot miss of giving satisfaction to 
their officers, and may be relied on by the nation." 

The Grant Fencibles were assembled at Forres in the end of 
April, 1793, inspected by Lieutenant-General Leslie on the 5tb 
June, and marched southward in August. They were quartered 
successively in several of the most important towns, and dis- 
banded in 1799. Ever\'where they gained praise for their manly 
appearance and good conduct ; but one unfortunate incident 
marred the perfectncss of their ser\nce. At Dumfries, in 1795, 
a spirit of discontent had been awakened amongst the men, as 
they distrusted some of their officers, and dreaded that there 
was a design to entrap them into foreign service. There had 
been some trouble with tinkers, and, in arresting them, several 
men were badly hurt. Shortly after, a soldier in the ranks made 
some jocular remark, which was resented by the officers, and 
he was arrested and threatened with corporal punishment. This 
was regarded as an affront. The men could not endure that such a 
stain should ** attach to themselves, and their country, from an 
infamous ptniishment for crimes, according to their views, not in 
themselves infamous in the moral sense of the word " (Colonel 
Stewart). The result was that some of the soldiers banded 
together and released the prisoner. Sir James Grant was, 
unfortunately, absent. He hurried south, but was too late to 
prevent the tragic issue. The regiment was marched to Mussel- 
burgh, nnd there five of the men, Corporal James Macdonald, 


and Privates Charles and Alexander Mackintosh, Alexander 
Fraser, and Duncan Macdougall, were tried for mutinous 
conduct, and, being found guilt}', were condemned, one to 
corporal punishment, and the other four to be shot. The 
sentence was executed at the Links of Gullane on the i6th 
July, 1795, in the presence of the Scotch Brigade (afterwards 
the 94th Regiment) and the Sutherland, Breadalbane, and Grant 
Fencibles. It must have been a sad and distressing scene. 
The four men, when set before their countrymen, were told 
that only two were to suffer. Macdougall was reprieved, and 
the Mackintoshes were to cast lots as to which should suffer. 
The fatal lot fell on Charles, and he and Fraser were forthwith 
shot. Fraser was from Abemethy, and it is said that at the 
first he was only severely wounded, and that he cried out, in 
Gaelic, in his agony, ** Surely there is some Fraser present to 
put me out of pain." The response came quick, but few knew 
who had fired the friendly shot. 

The Fencibles were followed by the Strathspey Battalion of 
Volunteers, or The Armed Association, as it was called. The 
first meeting was held at Grantown, 24th July, 1798. In Aber- 
nethy there were two Companies, the Eastern and the Western. 
The Eastern was commanded by Captain Robert Lawsou, 
Balliemore, with Alexander Carmichael, Congash, and John 
Dunbar, Glenlochy, as Lieutenants. It numbered 79 men, 
entered according to the Davochs of the parish — Congash, 9 ; 
Glenlochy, 3; Achnagonaline and Lainchile, 11; Drum and 
Muckrach, it; Ballifurth, 11; Lettoch, 22; Balliemore, 12. 
The Western Company had 80 enrolled, and the officers were 
James Grant, Birchfield, Captain ; and John Grant, I^ttoch, and 
John Grant, Gartenmore, Lieutenants. The Sergeants were 
Ronald Macgregor, Grantown, Drill Sergeant ; Charles Grant, 
Coulnakyle ; Charles Grant, Lurg ; William Grant, Rothiemoon ; 
Alexander Cameron, Dibonig ; and John Smith, Gartenmore. 
There was a third Company in Kincardine. It was at first 
commanded by Mr John Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus, and 


subsequently by Mr Duncan Mackintosh, Dell. Mr John 
Stewart, Pytoulish, was one of the Ensigns, and his commission, 
dated 9th January, 1799, runs as follows : — 

'* Geoi-ge the Thinl, by the grace of Ood, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, 

Defender of t^e Faith, kc, t<> our trusty and well -beloved John Stewart, gent. 

Greeting : 

'* We do by theiie preaenta constitute and appoint you to be Second lieutenant 

to the Kincaim Volunteers, whereof John Peter Grant, I*>u)., Ih Captain, but not to 

take rank in our Army except during the time of the said Corptt lieing called out 

into actual sen-ice. You are, therefore, carefully and diligeutl}* to discharge the 

duty of Second Lieutenant by exercising and well -disciplining both the inferior 

officei^i and soldiers of that Company, and we do hereby command them to obey you 

at* their Second Lieutenant i and you are to observe and follow such orders and 

directions from time to time as you shall receive from your Captain, or any other 

your Hujierior officers, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in pursuance «>i 

the trust hereby reposed in you, Ac." 

The commission is signed at the top by the King, and at the 
end by the Duke of Portland. The Volunteers were disbanded 
in 1814, and a vote of thanks was passed to them in the House 
of Commons, to which the following letters refer : — 

"Thb Dounb, 20th August, 1814. 
" Dbar Sir, — 1 have the utmost ]>leasure in transmitting a copy of a letter 1 
have received from the Lord- Lieu tenan^ accompanying the thanks of the House of 
Commons to the Strathsi)ey Volunteers *, and i liave to re(iuest that you will take 
Mteps to make this communiaaiou as generally known as possible to the officers and 
privates lately comprising your (/ompany. — I have the honour to be, with great 
i^ganl, dear Sir, your most ol)edient humble servant, 

(Signed) '* J. P. Gbant." 

This letter is addressed Duncan Mackintosh, Esq., late Captain. 
Strath.spey Volunteers, The Dell. The circular from the Lord- 
Lieutenant is as follows : — 

"Ca8TLn Grant, 4th August, 1814. 
" It is with tlie greatest pleasure that I obey the command of the House of 
Commons of the United Kingdom of Gi^eat Britain and Ireland, intimated through 
their S|ieaker, by transmitting you the annexed vote of thanks in order to it being 
communicated to all the meml>ers of the late Strathspey Volunteer Battalion,'* 


The resolution of the House of Commons is dated 6th July, 1814, 
and is to the following eflFect : — 

'' That the thanks of this Hoaae be given to the officera of the seA-eral Corps of 
Yeomanry and Volunteer Cavalry and Infantry which have been formed in Oreat 
Britain and Ireland during tlie course of the war for the seaflouable and eminent 
services which they have rendered to their King and country." 

There is also a similar vote of thanks to the non-commissioned 
officers and men of the several corps. A Silver Cup, with the 
Mackintosh arms, was presented to Captain Mackintosh by the 
Kincairn Volunteers for his services ; and a massive Silver Bowl 
was presented to Captain Lawson, Balliemore. The latter bears 
the following inscription :—" Presented by the Eastern Aber- 
nethy Volunteer Company to Robert Lawson, Esq., their Captain, 
as a testimony of their regard for his zealous attention to their 
Discipline and Welfare. 15 May, 1802." This cup had a some- 
what curious history. It was left by Mr Lawson to his nephew, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Cannichael,^ whose father was a Lieutenant 
of the Company, and by him it was bequeathed to the Parish 
Church as a Baptism Bowl, and it has now the additional 
inscription :— " Bequeathed to the Parish Church of Abernethy 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Carmichael, who died at Forres, 
1844." Thus the old prophecy (Isaiah ii., 4) may be said to have 
been fulfilled in the spirit, if not in the letter: ** They .shall beat 
their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning- 

The modern Volunteer movement was begun in 1859, in 
consequence of a circular letter from Colonel Jonathan Peel 
proposing a National Volunteer Association, and by the end 
of the year many thousands were enrolled in all parts of the 
kingdom. In June, i860, the Queen reviewed 18,450 volunteers 
in Hyde Park ; and in August, over 20,000 were reviewed by 
Her Majesty at Edinburgh. In 1864 the Volunteer force was 
estimated at 165,000, and it is now over 220,000. Abernethy, 

^ See Api^endix, Note 16. 


with Duthil, was the first to fomi a Company in Strathspey 
(i86o-i)» and the officers were Captain Duncan Menzies and 
Lieutenant J. Stewart. This Company has been well main- 
tained, and has gained honours for shooting and efficiency. It 
has for some years been under the command of Major Cummiuj;, 
Curr. In 1888 a Church Parade was held in the Parish Church 
of Abernethy, when there were present 61 men from Grantowu. 
and 42 from Abernethy and Duthil. The Rev. Mr Forsyth 
conducted a special service for the occasion, preaching from 
ist Timothy, vi. and 12th. He concluded with a brief address 
to the following effect :—** Volunteers— The name is significant. 
It implies that you serve not for hire but for love. Your 
Companies are made up, not of strangers, but of neighbours 
and friends. You meet not only in the field, but at the fireside, 
and in the common of life. Though soldiers, you do 
not cease to be citizens. Besides, you form part of one great 
force, drawn from all ranks of society — subject to the same 
discipline, animated by the common feeling of love to our dear 
fatherland. How then can you best fulfil your duty ? It is by 
each of you being true for himself to his country and his CH>d. 
First, each must do his part to the best of his ability in the 
ranks. Then each must strive to live an honest and pure life 
in his own home. And, further, you must each of you carry 
into society a high standard of right, resolved that come what 
will you will always keep to the truth, support the weak, be the 
redresser of wrong, and the champion of woman, and do your 
best to hold up to reverence the idea of a chivalrous and noble 
manhood. Are you willing, in the name of Christ, to consecrate 
yourselves to this cause, lo take part in this glorious campaign ? 
If so, be of good courage. * Stand fast.' * Fight the good fight 
of faith ; lay hold of eternal life.* '* 




In the Librar>' at Castle Grant there is a picture of some 
significance. It represents a noble of the time of George II. 
sitting in a chair, and holding in his hand the plan of a village, 
which he is eagerly examining. The noble was Sir Ludovick 
Grant of Grant, and the village was Grantown. The picture is a 
prophecy. By an Act of James VI., 1609, Cromdale had been 
erected into a burgh. The terms of the edict are curious and 
suggestive — **We, understanding that the toune of Cromdaill 
lyes in ane wyld and barbarous pairt of oure said Kingdome of 
Scotland, far distant from the sea, about the quhilk thair duellis 
and remaines ruid people wanting civilitie and guid maneris — 
thairfoir we to the intent that the inhabitants of the saidis 
boundis may be maid the mair riclie and civile, we of oure 
nationall inclination quhilk we have to reduce oure people to 
civilitie and guid maneris, and for policie and decoration of oure 
said realm of Scotland, have maid, constitute, erectit, and creatit 
all and haill, the said toune of Cromdaill, with all and sindrie 
houssis, biggingis, tenementes, waist places, yeardis, aikeris, 
toftis, croftes, hy and in the territorie of the said toune, in ane 
free burgh and baronie, with special free and plaine powar to 
the said couiplainar, his aires, baillies, ane or mar within the said 
burgh, with persanes of counsull, clerkis, servands, and all other 
officeris necessary within the samyu for rewling and governing 
thairof, &c." The site of the burgh was the moor on which the 
house and offices ot the Mains Farm now stand. Here was the 
village with ale house and cottages, in one of which the late Sir 
James Macgregor was born. Here were the court-house and 
jail, the remains of which, called the Toll-dhubh (^Black-hole) 


may still be seen at the back of the old school-house; while a 
little above, to the left of the old road, was Tom-na-croicht, tlie 
hanging hill. Cromdale did not succeed as a burgh. Its fall is 
said to have been brought about by a fight at one of the fairs 
between two factions of the Grants, in which lives were lost. 
Be that as it. may, Sir Ludovick resolved upon a change. There 
had been a village near the gate of Castle Grant, no doubt of the 
.sort depicted so graphically in the opening chapters of Waverley. 
but it was in a low condition. Sir Ludovick looked farther 
afield. He was ambitious and far-seeing, and had an eye to the 
possibilities of the future. About two miles south of the Castle, 
and at a lower level, there was a wide moor, part of one of the 
gravel terraces, common in Strathspey, called the Feith-mhoid. 
Bounded on the west by the heights of Dreggie, sloping on the 
east to the mosses and fir- woods of Anagach, and on the south 
opening out into the birch clad knolls of Kirkton, the meadows 
of Ballintomb and Balliefoilh, and the far- stretching pine forest 
of Abernethy, with the Spey gleaming in the midst, and the 
Cairngorms as a grand hack-ground, it formed a model site for a 
Highland village. If Sir Ludovick shewed much judgment in the 
selection of a site, he .shewed no less resolution and skill in the 
carr}'ing out of his scheme. It was a great advantage that 
Grantown was not built at haphazard, but according to a fixed 
plan. The main idea was a long street with a wide central 
square or mercat place, and strips of land, called " tenements/' 
attached to the houses. It was called New Grantown to 
distinguish it from the old village, and it still bears this name 
among the Gaelic people— -•/;// Ihiilc-Ur. The first advertise- 
ment as to the erection of the town was published in 1 764, and 
the first house was erected in 1766. The progress was at first 
slow. From a plan made in 1768 by Mr Alex. Taylor, it 
appears that at that time only about sixteen feus had been 
taken up. The names of the first fenars are as follows, 
beginning at the north-west corner of the square:- -No. 9, 
Delmanny, manufacturer, where Macdougall & Co.*s estab- 


lishment now stands; 10, Minister of Abernethy ; 11, Mrs 
Grant of Duthil ; 12, Altcharn ; 13, left out for a road or street ; 
14, 15, Mullochard, manufacturer; 16, John Grant, weaver; 17, 
John Burges Taylor ; 18, William Lyon ; 19, James Grant, clerk, 
Castle Grant ; 21, John Clark, mason ; 22, James Innes, school- 
master ; 33, 34 (south side of square, at the east end), James and 
Archibald Houstans ; 35, John Mackenzie, vintner ; 36, John 
Hastan, merchant ; 37, Brewer>' Company ; 38, left out for road 
or street; 39, Lady Anna Duff; 40, Minister of Cromdale ; 45, 
Angus Cumming, piper. Alexander Fraser had a house and 
smithy on the moor to the north of the road to the Castle, and 
James and John Birnie, James Grant, officer, John Mackenzie, 
vintner, David Rose, John M*Grigor, and Allan Grant had 
houses on the Upper and Nether Faemoit, further to the south. 
In the notes to Mr Taylor's plan, it is stated, among other 
advantages, that '* there is a considerable part of the moor ground 
lying south and south-east from New Grantown, plowed in by 
Mr Grant's oxen, and still continuing to plow more, which, as it 
is well adapted for lime, will soon be of sinj»ular use to the town, 
both for corn and grass." It is interesting to think of Mr Grant's 
oxen patiently toiling, where now the nimble golfers ply their 
task, and bright-eyed maidens make the air merr}' with their 
glee ! 

In 1768, a second advertisement was issued, setting forth the 
advantages of the village, from its centrical position and sur- 
roundings, and inviting ''persons of circumstance, manufacturers, 
and others," to take up feus. *'Ther\s nine annual mercats or 
Fairs holds at Grantown, for Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Ti.ssiker, 
Wool, &c., and Weekly Mercats. Its centrical for the South 
Country. Badenoch and Strathern Dealers, or Drovers in the 
Low Countr>', as it is not above 18 miles either from Inverness, 
Fort-George, Nairn, Forres, Elgin, Keith, or Strathboggie and 
good patent Roads to each of them. The Mercats are and will 
be for some time custome free. There is established a good 
schoole, for teaching Latin, English, Writing, Arithmetick. and 


Book-keeping, and two Weenien Schools for Sewing and Knitting 
of Stocking, and a fine new Church is to be built within the 

Sir James Grant completed what his father had so well begun, 
and this policy of unity of aim, and continuity of action, ha^ 
been a characteristic of the family to our own time. It is said 
that Sir James spent more than ^,'5000 on Grantown. He made 
roads, built bridges, and erected a Town house and jail. He also 
did much to foster various industries, such as baking, weaving, 
dyeing, wool- combing, and brewing, " to keep people from 
drinking spirituous liquors," and so forth. He also projected a 
school or asylum for the education of children, where not only 
ordinary education, but instruction in arts and trades might be 
given, in this anticipating the technical education of the present 
day. With regard to this latter scheme, he consulted Lord 
Kames, who was considered a great authority on education. 
Lord Kames suggested that a preferable mode of giving technical 
instruction would be the bringing to the town ** the best artists 
that work in such things, for which there was a demand in the 
Highlands, wheel-wrights, phmgh-wrights, house carpenters, 
smiths, masons, weavers, &c.," and he promised aid from the 
Annexed Estates Fund to provide for apprenticing children to 
such trades (lA'tter 31st August, 1767). I^ord Kames* advice 
seems to have l)een taken. The Rev. Lewis Grant, in the O.S. 
Account (^1792) says that in twenty years Grantown had increased 
to a population of from 300 to 400 inliabitants, and that there 
were in it *' bakers, shoemakers, tailors, weavers of wool, linen, 
and stockings, blacksmiths, wrights, and masons, and twelve 
merchants who kept regular shops," and '* as good tradesmen as 
any in the kingdom." In marking the piogrcss of Grantown, 
he makes the suggestive remark that '* herein was irrchistible 
proof liow far the country at large was capable of improvement" 

Sir James gave special attention to education. The endeavour 
to establish a Strathspey Academ>' at Cromdale did not succeed. 
It was therefore transferred to Grantown. The first school was 


a low building, with one long room, the master's desk at the 
north end, with the writing desks and forms in front. This gave 
place to a much larger building, divided into four sections, with 
ample space for classes and drilling in the centre. It had a bell 
tower, which gave it quite an imposing appearance. The plan, 
it is said, was supplied by Mr Gill, Postmaster. In this school 
much good work was done, under the Rev. John Wink, Mr 
James Weir, M.A., and other successive masters. The present 
splendid building, with its admirable staff and equipments, is 
the product of the School Board. ^ 

The Speyside Charity School, commonly called " The 
Hospital," was established by a Deed of Covenant, dated loth 
August, 1795, from bequests made by Dame Jane Grant and Dr 
Gregory Grant of Burnside. Various benefactions have been 
since made to the institution. The female school was established 
from bequests made by the late Captain Grant, Con gash, and 
others. In 1890 it was transferred to the School Board of 
Cromdale. The Parish Church of Inverallan was originally at 
Kirkton, and tlie remains of the foundation are still to be seen 
in the Churchyard. In 1803 a new church was built at Grantown. 
It was for some years occupied as a Royal Bounty Station, but in 
1869 it was erected into a parish quoad sacra. In r886 the 
present handsome church was built in the place of- the former 
Parish Church. On a brass slab within the church there is the 
following inscription :—" This Church was erected to the glory 
of God by Caroline Stuart, Countess of Seafield, in memory of 
John Charles, 7th Earl of Seafield, K.T., 26th Chief of the 
Grants, who died 31st March, 1884. Presented by her to the 
Church of Scotland as the Parish Church of Inverallan. Con- 
secrated to the public service of God, ist May, 1886. The Rev. 
John Thomson, \^.V>,, Minister. Alex. Smith, Architect.'' 
Besides the church, l.ady Seafield erected and endowed the 
" Ian Charles Hospital," which was opened 19th May, 1895, and 
has proved an immense benefit to the country. 

' Sec Appcinlix, Nuic 17. 


The Highland and Speyside Railways were opened in 1863, 
and since then Grantown has made great progress, and the 
number of visitors coming to the town in summer and 
autumn is very large, and increasing every year. The 
contrast between Grantown as it was in the first half of the 
centur\% and as it is now, is very striking. Sixty years ago, the 
square was the place where the fairs and tr>sts were held, and at 
George and Figgat Markets, it presented a gay and lively 
appearance, from the lines of tents and the crowds of people. 
Now it is better kept, with a broad roadway, bordered by orna- 
mental trees, and open spaces on each side, with seats, and 
pleasant runs for children. Sixty years ago, the houses were 
mostly of one store)', and many of them thatched with heather : 
now the dwelling-houses are handsome and substantial, and 
provided with all modern comforts. Sixty years ago, there was 
but one bank, the National, well known as * Culfoichs." It was 
next the Charity School, a little dingy hole, with hardly room 
for two people to stand together, and where the attention of the 
agent was divided between the bank and the shop, with which it 
was connected. Now there are three banks — the National, the 
Caledonian, and the Royal, with excellent accommodation and 
ample business. Sixty years ago, there w^re but few shops, and 
the trade, chiefly in cloth and groceries, was of a ver>' limited 
kind. Now there are hotels, large and well equipped, and 
establishments such as those of Macdougall & Co.'s, A. C. Grant, 
G. Anderson, and others, well lighted and spacious, and with 
supplies of cloth, ironmongery, house furnishings, and all sorts 
of goods, equal to what could l^e obtained in any of our larg^e 
towns. Sixty > ears ago letters were few% and newspapers fewer, 
the mails being brought by a postrunner from Forres. Now 
there is a large post-office, with three deliveries daily, and the 
Kdinburgh, Aberdeen, and other newspapers are received by the 
morning mails. There is also telegraphic communication and 
despatches daily to diiferciit parts of the country. Sixty years 
ago it was managed as i)art of the Grant estate under a Baron 
Bailie, now it has been erected into a burgh with the new 



designation of Grantown-on-Spey, and the Provost and Coun- 
cillors have already made some improvements, and much more 
is expected of them, as they come to the full knowledge of their 
powers and duties. Sixty years ago Graiitowm was a ** quiet 
habitation.*' with little signs of life and progress, now it is visited 
b}^ thousands, and, amply provided as it is with shops, hotels, 
villas, and lodging-houses, with churches and schools, with 
Parish Council and Town Council, with railroads and Telegraphs, 
and the attractions of a Christian Institute and a beautiful Golf 
course, with free access to the woods and mountains, it is no 
wonder that its popularity is growing from year to year, and that 
it promises to reach and rival the fame of ** Sweet Auburn, love- 
liest village of the plain." 





Thk iianfe Rotliieniurchus. though uncouth in appearance, is 
really a word picture. It means ** the plain of the Great Pines." 
This description has held tnie from time immemorial. We have 
incidental proof of thi.s so far back as the fifteenth centurv-. In 
a deed of date 1464, the Kirklands of Rothiemurchus were 
declared to be held of the Bishop of Moray, by Alex. KejTe 
Mackintosh ** reserving the King's forensic service, due and 
wont, and fiayijiff a fir-cone (unum gerinen abiegnum) to the 
Bishop at the manor place of Rothiemurchus if asked." One of 
the \\'itnesses to the Instrument is William de Gawbrath, Rector 
of Kincardyne. Rothiemurchus is also notable for the vicissi- 
tudes of the landholders, Cummings, Shaws, Mackintoshes, 
Dallases, and (irants, having successively held the property'. 
According to tradition, the Grants got Muckrach in the 
sixteenth century from the Bishop of Moray, in compensation 
for the wrongs done to Grant of Achemack, and from there they 
moved to Rothiemurchus. This tradition is so far confirmed by 
the stone which stood for long above the door of ** the Dell,*' 
but which in 1879 was removed, and placed over the eastern 
entrance of the Doune House. It bears the initials P. G., for 
Patrick Grant, and I. G., for Jean (k)rdon, and two shields of 
arms surmounted by the motto '* Ix God is al my Trkst," 
with the date 1597. Patrick Grant of Muckrach, afterwards o? 
Rothiemurchus, was the second son of John Grant of Freuchie. 
and Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Atholl. He 
is designed of Rothiemurchus in a summons of date 1570. In 
1575 he received a charter from his father of the lands of Rothie- 
murchus, and in 1579 he received a Crown Charter of Resignation 


of the same lands, in which he is designed of Rothiemurchus. 
By his wife, Jean Gordon, he had two sons, Duncan and John. 
The latter succeeded to the property. He married Margaret 
Dunbar, daughter of the Dean of Moray. His son James 
succeeded him about 165 1, and married Grizzel Mackintosh of 
Kyllachie, commonly called " Grizzel Mhbr.'* They had three 
sons. Patrick, the eldest, succeeded his father, and William, 
the second son, became Laird of Ballindalloch. It seems to 
have been the custom with the Grants of Rothiemurchus, as 
with other families, to give distinguishing titles or by-names to 
the heads of the House. One was called "The Spreckled 
Laird," probably from being pock-pitted. Another was termed 
"The White Laird," probably from his fair complexion, and 
another, the one with whose historv we have to do, bore the 
name of " Macalpine.'* Some say this title was given him by the 
famous Rob Roy, but the Grants, as well as the Macgregors, 
claimed to be of the royal line of Alpin. At anyrate, there was 
something significant and honourable in this Laird being thus 
specially distinguished. It seemed to indicate that in him the 
characteristics of the ancient race had found a true represen- 
tative. There had been friendly intercourse between the Mac- 
grtgors and the Grants of Rothiemurchus for generations. In 
1592 Patrick Grant joined with John Grant of Freuchie in a 
mutual bond of man-rent with John Dow Macgregor. He died 
in 161 7. In 1623 his son John was fined 2000 merks for 
** resetting, supplying, and intei -communing" with the Clan 
Gregor. In Macalpine's time Rob Roy visited the Doune, and a 
letter written by him to Ballindalloch in 1726, quoted elsewhere, 
shews the kindly relationship between the families. 

Macalpine was born in 1660, succeeded in 1677, and died in 
1743. He was twice married. His first wife was Mar^' Grant 
(1734), daughter of Patrick, Tutor of Grant of Grant. His second 
wife was Rachel Grant of TuUochgorm. He was a man of much 
abilit>% .shrewd in the management of affairs, remarkable for wit 
and repartee, and holding a high place as a Highland Laird, 


whose House was a centre of light and hospitality. Pliny mig^ht 
he said to have described him, ** Erat hotno ingcnioustis aaitus* 
acer, el qui plurimum ct salts habercl cl follis, ncc canderis minus'' 
When Simon I>)rd Lovat married Margaret, fourth daughter of 
Ludovic, Laird of Grant (1717), there were great doings in 
Strathspey. Macalpiue and other gentlemen of the Clan accom- 
panied the Frasers on their home journey. A Gaelic song 
descrihes the march. It has the quaint refrain — 

** We will go home, come away home, 
We will go home to the Aird, 
Leave we the Grants of the porridge, 
We are the Frasers of the kail." 

At Castle Downie Lovat made a great feast, with music and 
dancing. Tradition says that when the Strathspey men took the 
floor they made cjuite a sen.sation. The Frasers crowded round, 
they peeped over each others' heads, they even climbed to the 
rafters to gaze. Never before had they seen such grace and 
agility. The following verse of a Gaelic song refers to the 
dancers : — 

** Bha aon dhiubh dha *m bu stoidhle an Tullich, 
Fear eile, 's Mullochard, 
'S cait am facas riabh air urlar, 
Bheireadh air an triuir ud barr." 

'* There was one they styled * the Tully,' 
Mullochard, and another, 
To trip it with these matchless three. 
Where could you find a brother?'* 

The reel was an unfortunate one for *' Tully." The bush of a 
wheel had been set in the floor, opposite the fireplace, for the 
roasting of an ox, and in one of his capers, his foot caught in the 
hole, and down he came, breaking his leg in the fall. The 
morning after the wedding one of the attendants came round to 
make a collection, after the old custom, for the bride. When 
Macalpine was applied to, he answered with biting sarcasm — 


** Had fny daughter married the cattleman, I would have kept 
her at least seven 3'ears from begging." This saying got wind, 
and led to the discontinuance of the practice. The " Baidse,'* as 
it was called, was collected no more. In due time, a son was 
born to Lady Lovat, and another great feast was held at the 
baptism (i8th Ma\', 17 19). Lovat played one of his pranks on 
the occasion. The chief guests were seated at a round table, and 
in the course of the repast, a huge pie was produced. Macalpine 
was asked to cut it up. When he had opened it, out flew a 
pigeon, and the Laird naturally put his hand up to g^ard 
himself Lovat cried out. ** Macalpine has scrogged his bonnet" 
Macalpiue answered fiercely, ** If so, a traitor shall * scrog* 
opposite him," and he stood up and drew his sword. But 
nothing came of it. Lovat was too prudent a man to quarrel, 
and apologised. Macalpine and Lovat had another encounter at 
Castle Grant. They were playing cards together. Macalpine 
affected to be puzzled. Lovat called out, **Play, play." Mac- 
alpine, after a pause, said significantly, ** Lovat, my cards would 
suit you better, a knave behveeri two kings'' Another time at 
Castle Grant, the Laird made a curious comment on the dancers. 
He said, " It was the drollest reel he had ever seen. First 
there was the man of the law, and then the man of the Lord, and 
next the two greatest drunkards in the countr>' ! " Macalpine did 
not like lawj'ers. It is said that part of his dinner grace was — 
"From lawyers and doctors, good Lord deliver us." He was 
very zealous in keeping up the old customs and ways. The 
Laird and the parson in those days lived on good terms. 
Rothiemurchus being joined to Duthil, it was the duty of the 
minister of Duthil to hold ser\'ice there ever>' third Sunday. On 
one occasion the parson had stayed over night, and the next day 
he and the Laird went out for a stroll. They were walking arm 
in arm, when the parson stumbled. The Laird exclaimed, in 
Gaelic, ** God and Mary be with you.'* The parson was shocked, 
and said, "God with me and Mary with _>'(>«; what better was she 
than my own mother?" Macalpine quietly replied, "We shall 



say nothiiij^ as to the mothers, but grrai is (he difference beiivcai 
the sons.*' Macalpine was a great hunter, and there are frequent 
references to his skill and exploits in the Gaelic songs of the 
period. He was very successful in the management of his 
extensive forests. Mr lyorimer, tutor to the Laird of Grant, says 
in his notes, *' Rothie is his own overseer and forester. J/irrA in 
that'* This was written shortly after Macalpine's death, but it 
marks the wise and eflFective system which he had established. 

In ** The Memoirs of a Highland Lady," Mrs Smith has the 
following reference to her great-grandfather : — " Macalpine ruled 
not only his owti small patrimony, but mostly all the countr\- 
round. His wisdom was great, his energ>' of body and mind 
untiring. He must have acted as a kind of despotic sovereign, 
for he went about with a body of four-and-twentj^ picked men, 
gaily dressed, of whom the principal and the favourite was his 
foster brother, Ian Bain, or John the Fair, also a Grant of the 
family of Achnahatnich. Any offence committed anywhere, this 
band took cognisance of Macalpine himself was judge and 
jury, and the sentence quickly pronounced was as quickly 
executed, even when the verdict doomed to death. A corpse 
with a dagger in it was not unfrequently met wnth among the 
heather, and sometimes a stout fir branch bore the remains of a 
meaner victim. I never heard the justice of a sentence 
questioned. Macalpine was a great man m every* sense ot the 
word, tall and strong made, and very handsome, and a beau ; 
his trews (he never wore the kilt) were laced down the sides with 
gold ; the brogues on his beautifully-formed feet were lined and 
trimmed with feathers ; his hands, as soft and white as a 
lady's, and models as to shape, could draw blood from the finger 
nails of any other hand they grasped, and they were so flexible 
they could be bent back to form a cup which would hold a 
tablespoonful of water. He was an epicure, as indeed are all 
Highlanders in their own way. They are contented with simple 
fare, and they ask no great variety, but what they have must be 
of its kind the best, and cooked precisely to their fancy. The 


well of which Macalpine invariably drank was the Lady's Well at 
Tiillochg:nie, the water of which was certainly delicious. It was 
brought to him twice a day in a covered wooden vessel, a cogue or 

The Gaels have some curious sayings as to choosing a wife. 
Cormac's advice to his son was as follows — "Na tagh Binneagag, 
no Grincagag, no Gaogag, no ruadh bheag, ro ruadh mhor, no 
ruadh mhasach ; ach Ciarag bheag air dhath na luch, na sir, 's 
na seachain i." The meaning of some of the terms is obscure, 
out the preference as to complexion is given to olive over red. 
Macalpine had a way of his own. The story as to how he chose 
his second wife is as suggestive as amusing. Knowing that 
Grant of Tullochgorm had some strapping daughters, he made a 
call on the old gentleman and told him what he had in view. 
The girls were brought in for inspection in the order of their 
ages. When the eldest appeared, Macalpine said, *' Now, 
supposing you had a tocher of gold as big as Craigowrie (a hill 
on the opposite side of the Spey), what would you do with it ? " 
She answered that she would get lots of dresses and jewels, and 
have a fine house in Edinburgh. This did not please the Laird. 
The second was brought in, and the third, with like unsatis- 
factory results. The Laird then said, " Have you not another 
daughter?" "Yes." was the reply; **but she is out with the 
cows.' ** Fetch her," said Macalpine. She was brought in, and 
the same question put to her as to the others. She did not 
answer quickly, but paused a moment, with downcast eyes, as if 
in deep thought. Then looking up, she said sweetly, **That is 
too hard a question for me. I would take the advice of my 
husband as to what to do." Macalpine was jubilant "That's 
the lass for me," he said. 

** So sweet a face, such angel grace. 
In all that land had never been, 
Cophetua swore a royal oath. 
This beggar maid shall be my queen." 


But though Macatpiue got a youug and pretty ^\ife, it is said tlic 
marriage was not to the liking of his family. I^dy Jean, the 
next Laird's wife, was systematically unkind to the widow, and 
slighted her four young ones. This, with other unkind usage, 
bore hardly on Lady Rachel. Mrs Smith tells that ** once after 
the service of the kirk was over she stepped up, with her fan in 
her hand, to the comer of the kirkyard where all our graves are 
made, and taking off her high-heeled slipper, she tapped with it 
on the stone laid over her husband's grave, cr\'ing out, 'Mac- 
alpine I Macalpine! rise up for ae half-hour and see me richted?*" 
Macalpine died at the great age of 92, in 1743, and was thu^ 
saved the perils of Prince Charlie's year and the dark days of 




Ix our churchyard there is a stone with the inscription — 
** Erected by John Grant in Manchester to the memory of his 
father Donald Grant, late square-wright at Nethy-Bridge, who 
died 24th Sept., 1824, aged 52 years/' This Donald was a first 
cousin of "the Grants of Manchester." His son John was taken 
into their employment, but died early. Another son, James, was 
being educated to succeed his brother, but was accidentally 
drowned while bathing in the Boat Pool at Cromdale in 1837. 
The only other connection of our parish with the Grants was 
through Mr John Grant, grandson of " Parson John," who acted 
as manager of the Estates of the Grants for many years, and who 
now resides at Dellachaple, Garmouth. The story of the Grants 
is quite a romance. William Grant, the elder, occupied the farm 
of ** The Haugh" at Elchies of Knockando. He also engaged in 
** droving,*' buying cattle in the countr>-, and taking them to the 
south for sale. This trade was precarious. When prices were 
good, it paid well, but in bad seasons, and when there was a 
sudden fall in the markets, it might be attended with serious 
losses. The year 1782-3 were notably bad years, already referred 
to as the Pease Years. According to one account, William 
Grant went south with a drove, but failed to sell at Falkirk. He 
crossed the border, but found no market. He pressed on to 
Lancashire, and there, weary and disheartened, he stopped for a 
night. In the morning he stood with his son William, a lad of 
fourteen, on the Top o' the Hoof, overlooking the fair valley of 
the Irwell, and, charmed with the sight, he said, **This is 
paradise. Here I would like to have my home." It seemed a 
vain wish. When Warren Hastings was a child, he had " wild 


fancies and projects'' as to recovering the estates of his fathers. 
Ouce, when only seven years old, as Macaulay tells, the boy lay 
•* one bright summer day on the bank of the rivulet, which flow> 
through the old domain of his house, to join the Isis. There, a> 
three score and ten years later he told the tale, rose in his mind 
a scheme which, through all the turns of his eventful career, was 
never abandoned. He would recover the estate which had 
belonged to his fathers. He \vould be Hastings of Dalesford." 
And he succeeded. William Grant's position was very different. 
He was a poor Highlander, in sore straits ; he was a stranger in 
the land, which for him had no associations or hopes, and the 
wish, which rose from his heart, though natural, seemed a vain 
fancy, a castle-in-the-air, dim and unreal, and soon to die away 
and be forgotten. And yet, strange to say, the wish came true. 
In that ver>' land he settled ; there he and his sons found a home, 
and there by honest industry they built up a large and prosperous 
business, so that in time they came to rank among the merchant 
princes of Manchester, and their names were enshrined with 
honour, as **tlie Cheeryble Brothers,' in the immortal pages of 
Charles Dickens. There is another version of the stor>', equally 
romantic. We give it as it has been handed down in the family 
of the Mackenzies of Achvochkie. The Grants, as already 
mentioned, got into difficulties from bad seasons, and failure in 
trade. In 1783, they resolved to try their fortune iu England. 
They had little means, but they started witli a horse and cart, 
and a stock of provisions. The first night they put up at Ach- 
vochkie. Next morning the goodwife, Mrs Mackenzie, was up 
early baking oat-cakes for them, which, with other supplies, vvea- 
added to their stock. The journey was long and toilsome. By 
the time they reached the valley of the Irwell, their slender 
supplies were exhausted. Starvation in a strange laud stared 
them in the face. That night, as they sought rest on the top of 
the hill, where the monument now stands, William Grant and 
his wife knelt down beside their cart, and prayed that of God'> 
mercy their children might be spared and bread sent to them. 


Next morning two gentlemen out shooting came upon the party, 
and, hearing their tale, gave Mrs Grant two sovereigns. This 
seasonable help they regarded as a direct answer to their prayer. 
They never wanted afterwards. William Grant got employment, 
and his wife started a little shop, by which she added to the earn 
ings of the family. In the days of their prosperity, William and 
his sister came to Speyside, visited their friends, and sought out 
their father's creditors, settling all their claims in full, with 
interest, in the most generous manner. Mr William Grant 
himself, the elder of the brothers, gives an account of the settle- 
ment in the Irwell Valley, in a letter to a friend, fifty-six years 
after the event, which, although it leaves out details as to their 
early history, is extremely interesting. It is as follows : — 

" Spbimgside, May 17, 1839. 

" Bear Sib, — Allow me to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed favour 
of the 10th. My father was a dealer in cattle, and lost his property in the 
year 1783. He got a letter of introduction to Mr Arkwright (the late Sir 
Richard), and came by the way of Skipton to Manchester, accompanied by me. 
As we passed along the old road, we stopped for a short time on the Park 
estate to view the valley. My father exclaimed, * What a beautiful valley! 
May God Almighty bless it ! It reminds me of Speyside, but the Irwell is not 
so large as the river Spey.' 

" I recollect Messrs Peel & Yates were then laying the foundation of their 
print works at Ramsbottom. We went forward to Manchester and called upon 
Mr Arkwright; but he had so many applications at the time that he could not 
employ him. There were then only Arkwright's mill, on a small scale, and 
Thacary's mill in Manchester. There was a mill on the Irwell belonging to 
Mr Douglas, two belonging to Messrs Peel & Yates, the one at Radcliffe 
Bridge, the other at Hinds ; and these were the only mills then in Lancashire. 
My father then applied to a Mr Dinwiddie, a Scotch gentleman, who knew liim 
in his prosperity, and who was a printer and manufacturer at liampson Mill, 
near Bury. He agreed to give my father employment, and placed my brother 
James and me in situations, where we had an opportunity of acquiring a 
knowledge both of mxuiufacturing and printing ; and offered me a partnership 
when I had completed my apprenticeship. I declined this offer, and com- 
menced business for myself on a small scale, assisted by my brothers John. 
Daniel, and Charles, and removed to Bury, where I was very successful ; attd 
in the course of a few years [in 1800?] I removed to Manchester, and com- 
menced printing in partnership with my brothers. My brother Daniel 


commenced travelling through the north of England and almost to every 
market town in Scotland. In 1806 we purchased the print works belonging to 
Sir Robert Peel, etc., situated at Ramsbottom. In 1812 wc purchased Nottal 
factory. In consequence of the death of Mr AlBop, the work-pet>plc had been 
long short of employment, and wore very dentituti*. We ordered the manager 
to get new machinery, of the finit-rate construction, and greatly extended the 
building; and before we began to spin or manufa^-ture, we clothed the whole 
of the hands at our own expense; preparetl an entertainment for them, and 
observed that the interests of masters and servants are bound up together, 
that there are reciprocal duties to perform, that no general or admiral could 
be brave unless he was supported by his men; that we knew how to reward 
merit, and would give constant employment and liberal wajres to all o^ir 
faitliful servants: and I am happy to Hay that they, as well as those at our 
printing establishment, with very few exceptions, have conducted themselves 
with great propriety. 

*' In 1818 we purchased Springside, and in 1827 we purchased the Park 
estate, and ei'ected a monument to commemorate my father's first \-isit to thi^ 
valley, and on the very spot where he and I stood admiring the beaufifnl 
scenery below. There is a fine view from the top of the tower in a clear day. 
and the Welsh mountains can be descried in the distance. 

"W^e attribute much of our prosperity, under divine Providence, tu the 
good example and good counsel of our worthy parents. They expressed a winh 
that I would build a Sunday school, and erect a chnrcli to worship God in, 
according to the ritual of the Church i>f Scotland, as a tribute of gratitude to 
Him for His great kindness to the family. I cheerfnlly complied with their 
request, and both have been finished years ago. We have done business, on a 
large scale, at all the places you have named, exporting i»ur goods and 
receiving the productions of those countries in return: but trade for some 
years has been very unproductive — profits being so small, and the risk great, 
that we have been very much inclined to retire on the niodemte fortune wc 
have acquired with great industry, were it not to <;ive em])loynicnt to our work- 
people; but we feel unwilling to throw our servants imt of employment at a 
time when many are only beinsf worked three days in the week." 

William Grant, sen , as already mentioned held the farm of the 
Hau^h, Knockando, so well known, in later days, as the resi- 
dence of Mr Macconachie, the famons bone-setter, always 
familiarly called " Haui;^hie." He had for his neighbour Alex- 
ander Smith, father of the present Lord vStratlu:ona, who was his 
first cousin. His wife was Grizel or Grace Mackenzie, who was 
born at Tombreck of Inveravou, and whose great- grand- nephew, 


Mr William J. Mackenzie, is now editor of The Northern Scot 

Mrs Grant was a woman of rare strength of character and 
goodness, and the success of the family was largely due to her. 
As was meet, her sons held her in much honour, and cherished 
her memory dearly. Dickens has brought out this well in the 
account which he gives of the birthday festival of the ** Brothers '' 
to their confidential clerk, "Tim Linkinwater":—** Brother 
Charles, my dear fellow, there is another association connected 
with this day which must never be forgotten, and never can be 
forgotten by you and me. This day, which brought into the 
world a most faithful and excellent and exemplary fellow, took 
from it the kindest and very best of parents — the very best of 
parents to us both. I wish that she could have seen us in our 
prosperity, and shared it, and had the happiness of knowing how 
dearly we loved her in it, as we did when we were her poor boys 
— but that was not to be. My dear brother— The Memory of our 
Mother'' Rev. Mr fiUiot says that, ** as a matter of fact, that 
mother's word or wish, to the end of her daj'S, was the law of her 
sons." He also states, as mentioned in the biography by the Rev. 
Franklin Howoith, that the brothers " seldom passed their mother's 
picture without an inclination of reverence or an exclamation of 

Mr William Grant died at Grant I/)dge, Ramsbottom, 29th 
June, 1817, aged 84 ; and his wife four years later, i6th May, 
1821, aged 79. Of their sons, William, the eldest, died in 1842. 
The following is the inscription on a marble tablet in St Andrew's 
Church :—** Sacred to the memory of William Grant of Spring- 
side, Esquire — the Founder of this Church. Born at Elchies, 
Morayshire, Scotland, on the 15th April, 1769. Died at Spring- 
side on 28th Februar}', 1842. Distinguished by vigour of 
understanding, spotless integrity of character, and true 
benevolence of heart. He lived a benefactor to his species, and 
died universally lamented.*' To his brother Daniel, his brother's 


death was. as Mr Elliot says, a supreme bereavement. ''The 
irrepressible sprightliuess indeed still scintillated about the 
lithe and agile form, but the very genuineness of the man — the 
moral transparency -the ciAik/hVciu. as the Greeks call it— made it 
impossible altogether to conceal the consciousness of how much 
had gone from him. A mellowing sense of solitude, with its 
deep * deciphering oracle within/ henceforth went with him 
through the busy haunts of men*' Daniel died 12th March, 
1S55, aged 75 years, and less than two months after, on 6th May. 
1855, John, the last of the brothers, passed to his rest. William 
was undoubtedly the business man of the family. One of his 
pet maxims was ** Good masters make good workmen ;" and his 
favourite counsel, ** Always be civil. Civility's cheap. Always 
be civil." 

The generosity of the Grants was proverbial. Once, it is 
said, a member of a well-known Liverpool firm called at the 
office at a time when they were in hard straits for money. 
**How much do you need?" asked Daniel. ** From ;^6ooo to 
/^Sooo." Daniel at once signed a cheque for ;£;io,ooo, for which 
he would take no formal security. ** No, no," said the worthy 
man. '* Take them with you ! take them with you ! A thing of 
honour ! a thing of honour ! Pay when you can ! pay when you 
can ! " In Smiles' '* Life of James Nasmyth," it is stated that 
Nasmyth, when beginning business, had an introduction to the 
Grants. He called at the office in Cannon Street, and was asked 
by Daniel to take " tiffin " at the house in Morely Street. The 
first thing Daniel did was to present him to "his noble brother, 
William," as he always affectionately called him. Some talk 
took place as to Nasmyth's age, means, and prospects. He said 
he had but ^'63 to start with, and William replied, *' What ! that 
will do very little for you when Saturday nights come round.'' 
** But," he whispered, **keep your heart up," and added that if he 
wanted money to pay wages, he would find ;^5oo at his credit in 
Cannon Street, and no security ! Thus it was that the Grants 
helped many young men both in Lancashire and in their own 


countr>^ One other anecdote may be given as illustrative of the 
benevolent spirit of these good men. Once a certain rival trader 
wrote a pamphlet, in which the Grants were spoken of in 
calumnious and abusive terms. William read it, and said the 
man who wrote it would be sorry for it some day. This came to 
the ears of the libeller, who took it as a threat. In the ups and 
downs of trade tlie pamphleteer became a bankrupt, and Grant 
was his chief creditor. He was advised to call upon him, but he 
said, ** I need not go to him ; I can expect no favour from him'' 
** Tr>' him,'* said some one who knew him better. So he went to 
Mr Grant and told his sad story, and asked his signature to a 
paper already signed by others of his creditors. **Give me the 
paper/' said Mr Grant, and after he had glanced at it, he said, 
**You wrote a pamphlet about me once," and without waiting for 
a reply he handed back the paper, having written something 
upon it. The poor bankrupt expected to find libeller or slanderer 
or such like. But no ; there was only the signature. ** I said 
you would be sorry for the writing of that pamphlet," the good 
man said. '' I did not mean it as a threat. I meant that some 
day you would know me better, and see that I did not deserve to 
be attacked in that way." And he not only freely forgave him 
that debt, but did much to help him and his family in their 
time of need. " Don't lose heart ; Til stand by you/* he said, 
and he was as good as his word. 




It has hceu said that the Highlands were discovered by Sir 
Walter Scott. This is only in part inie. Scott did more than 
any other man to make the Hij^hlands known to the world, 
and by the magic of his genius he has invested the land and 
the people with imperishable interest and renown But other 
great men had spoken of the Highlands before him. The 
English ]>oet Wordsworth and his sister Dora visited the 
Trossachs in 1S03. seven years before '* The Lady of the Lake" 
was published, and had penetrated as far as Glencoe and the 
shores of Loch Leven, and it is to this journey that we owe the 
beautiful poems of ** The Blind Highland Boy.'* ** Stepping 
Westward," '* The Solitary Reaper," and others. Still earlier, 
in 1773, the great Knglish lexicographer, vSamuel Johnson, made 
his famous tour to the Hebrides, by which he not only gave, as 
he believed, the death-blow to ^L'lcpherson and Ossiau (though 
in this he was mistaken), but threw a flood of light on the 
character and customs of the Highland people. But neither of 
these came to Strathspey. Johnson travelled b}* the East coast, 
and Wordsworth b>' the West, and to both Strathspey was 
unknown and unvisited. Sir Walter, also, though he makes 
Glenmore the scene of one of his poems, and otherwise indicates 
some acquainlnnce with the country and its legends, never 
appears to have entered it. He was much in the Highlands of 
Perth and Argyll, but he never crossed Drumuachdhar. He 
could make the gallant Dundee say : *' There are hills beyond 
Pentland and streams beyond Forth." but he himself saw them 
only in imagination, or dim in the distance, like the worthy 
Bailie Nicol Jarvie. One of the earliest visitors of whom we 


have record was the penniless pilgrim Taylor, the ** Water 
Poet" (r6iS). He gives the following description of a visit to 
Castle Grant (Hindley\s " Taylor,'* p. 56) : — " From thence we 
went to a place called Halloch Castle, a fair and stately honse, a 
worthy Gentleman being the Owner of it, called the Laird of 
Grant, his Wife being a Gentlewoman honourably descended, 
being sister to the Right Honble. Earl of Athole, and to Sir 
Patrick Murray, Knight ; she being both inwardly and outwardly 
plentifully adorned with the gifts of grace and nature ; so that 
our cheer was more than sufficient, and yet much less than they 
could afford us. There stayed there, four days, four Earles, one 
Lord, divers Knights and gentlemen and their servantes, foot- 
men and horses ; in every meal, four long tables furnished with 
all varieties ; our first and second course being three score 
dishes at one board, and after that always a banquet ; and if I 
had not foresworn wine till I came to Edinburgh, I think I had 
there drunk my last." Another poet w^ho visited the countr}' 
was Aaron Hill. He was connected with the York Company, 
and was a frequent guest at Conlnakyle. Hill was one of the 
victims of Pope in the ** Dunciad." Some rather sharp letters 
passed between them, which led to a modification of the lines 
complained of. HilFs name does not now appear, and the 
reference to him is rather complimentar>' than otherwise. 
Book II., 295 :- 

" Then * « « essay*d ; scarce vanished out of sight, 
He buoys up instant, and returns to light ; 
He bears no tokens of the sabler streams, 
And mounts far-off among the swans of Thames." 

But the noblest of our poet visitors was Robert Burns. Mr 
Henry Mackenzie, ** The Man of Feeling," introduced Burns in 
the following letter: — 

'* P:dinbciiqh, 24tli August, 1787. 
** Mt Dear Sir James,— Thin will W. <lp]ivere«l to you l»y the Hard of AirHhiro, 
Mr Burnif, of whom you have heunl a ^j^mn} ileal, ami with whom Ixmi.'^ wan 
acquainted here. He i« also clwrged with a Box tlirectcd for Misw GraDt. I presume 


Mi!«< KlizA, whioli raiiio ^nwe time agi», in the Knglish St«^ Oiach. anil itm omitted 
to >!«» H^iit tiy Mrl^ti'^n. It muiiihtA of t*uvh light niatorialit Afi pi>et« nometituc^ 
preM»iit ladioM witli. Mr Kumn ih ac<'uiufAiiie<l in h:« northern tour by Mr NicoL 
with whom I have not the honour of tieint; ft(i|uainie(1, hut I>ouii«. I }rt«»ume, hM a 
very feeling remeinlu-auce of him. Vou will tin<l Bum.»< not le*« uncommon in 
(*«>nven)4«tion than in hin |Hietry, riever. intellip»nt an<l oli«.»rvAnt, with remarkabk 
acutenem, anil in<1e|>en<1eDre of mind, the last indeed to a degree that aometime*^ 
prejudices [leiiple against him, tho' he haa on the whole met with amaxing patronage 
and encouragement. Umin will ^how him the liions of Cantle Grant ; and as he ia 
an enthufdatit a>>out the fortin facta f/ntruw^ let him not forget, a« in the cai>e of 
lioH MonUiddo, to '•how him the large Oun. ^Ynun moat affectionately, 

''HfiNRT Mackinzijl 
"SiK Jamka Grant of Grant, Banmet, 

** Castle (trant, |»er favor of Mr Burni«." 

The Louis referred to in this letter was the Laird's eldest son, 
of whom a sketch has been already ^ven. Bums made a tour 
of twenty-two days, his furthest stretch being about ten miles 
beyond Inverness, In a letter to Rev. John Skinner, he says, 
we travelled ** many miles through a wild countr>-. among cliffs 
grey with eternal snows, and gloomy savage glens famous in 
Scottish music, till I reached Castle Grant, where I spent half a 
day with Sir James Grant and family." We may conceive how 
the heart of the bard would glow, as he passed places familiar to 
him by name, but which he had never seen before. First came 
Rothiemurchus, with its ** Rant," which was one of his favourite 
tunes ; lower down Tullochgorm, famous for its Strathspey, and 
to him still more endeared by Skinner's spirit-vStirring song; 
and, on the other side of the Spey, the woods of Abernethy, one 
of the haunts of Macpherson, the brave raider, whose death he 
has immortalised — 

" Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, sae dantonly gaed he, 
He play'd a tune, and danc'd it roun, aneath the gallows tree." 

But, alas ! he does not seem to have been in the vein for song. 
Only, in his notes he has the significant entry, " Strathspey, rich 
and romantic'^ 


John Wilson, *' Christopher North." visited Strathspey more 
than once. He was at Tominloul in 1S15, and again in August, 
1816. He describes it as a ''wild mountain village,* and of one 
of the markets held when he was there he saj^s, ** Drinking, 
dancing, and swearing ?nd quarrelling going on all the time." It 
was here that he had a fight with the Caird : — 

" A stalwart tinkler wdght seemed he, 
That weel could mend a pot or pan ; 
And deftly he could throw the flee. 
Or neatl}' weave the willow wan'." 

Wilson crossed, on foot, from Toraintoul by Tomdow to Strath- 
spey, and stayed over the Sunda}- with friends — the Misses Grant. 
On the Monday he ascended Cairngorm, in company with Mr 
Alex. Grant, and it is said he lost the MS. of one of his poems 
on the hill. This put him in a bad temper, to which he gave vent 
in a fierce magazine article. Tennant, Campbell, Garnett, and 
Newt refer to Strathspey in their books. The Honourable Mrs 
Murray's * Guide to the Beauties of Scotland" describes a visit 
to Rothiemurchus (1799), and an ascent, of Cairngorm, where she 
seems to have visited "Coire Meararad," which she calls 
*• Margaret's Coffin." 

Mr John, Professor Shairp, and Professor Blackie 
visited Strathspey, and have spoken of it in their characteristic 
way. Ruskin's grand passage on the Rock of Craigellachie is 
often quoted. There are three kinds of visitors that may be 
referred to. First, Missionaries. Of this class ** the Haldanes" 
may be named. ** During five summers, beginning with that of 
1797, Mr James Haldane had devoted himself to long and 
laborious itinerancies for the purpose of preaching the Gospel." 
In 1802 and 1805 he visited Strathspey. He was then in the 
prime of manhood, wore a blue coat braided in front, with hair 
powdered and tied behind, and had a clear and powerful voice, 
with an earnest and impassioned delivery. \\. Aviemore he 
preached in the wood, in the midst of a snow storm. At Gran- 


town and other places he held meetinjg^s, and made a deep 
impression on many, Mr Peter Grant, Baptist minister, gives 
the followinji: acconnt of Captain Haldane\s visit to Granlown 
(** Lives of the Haldanes," p. 344): -'*The novelty of a field 
preacher, especially a gentleman, attracted multitudes. In a 
short time the whole country was astir. ... I was young, 
and had little concern about my soul when Mr Haldane visited 
this place. All that I remember is ha\nng heard and seen 
himself and John Campbell preach at Grantown on a market 
day. They took their station a little out of the village, where a 
Church has been since built. Almost the whole market 
gathered to hear. At first they thought to drown his voice by 
laughing and sporting, but in a short time his powerful and 
commanding voice overcame all uproar, and a solemnity 
prevailed to the end of his discourse. Some have since 
acknowledged to me that they received their first impression (of 
religion) on that occasion. . . . Another circumstance not 
to be forgotten is that he induced my father-in-law to set up a 
Sabbath School, especially to teach the people to read the 
Scriptures in the Gaelic language." This is said to have been 
the first Sabbath School established in Strathspey. 

Of the class of Sfior/smen, Colonel Thornton — ** Sporting 
Tour in the Highlands of Scotland, 1804**— may be said to have 
been the pioneer. His preparations were most elaborate. Like 
Agricola, he invaded the countr>' by sea and land. His stores 
were brought to Findhorn by a .schooner, and from there carried 
inland ; while he himself, taking Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the 
Lomonds in his way, met his stores at Raits, in Badenoch, which 
he made the centre ot his operations. The Colonel was a man 
of catholic tastes. He shot, he fished, he hawked, he fared 
sumptuously in his tent with the gentry, and he not only kept a 
diary, but had an artist to illustrate his work with sketches of 
the country. Some of his feats in shooting and fishing were 
most remarkable. He tells us that the Duke of Hamilton, one 
of the best shots in Scotland, ** had had good sport, having 


killed three brace of birds" in a day's shooting. But he himself 
got far above this, 20 to 30 brace of grouse often falling to his 
gun ; which, considering that he used a flint-lock gun generally 
with a single barrel, was very fair shooting. Colonel Thornton 
was wonderfully successful in fishing. In I/)ch I/)mond, 
between five and eight in the morning, he killed five salmon, 
one of them being 42 pounds weight. His most remarkable 
exploits in Strathspey were in killing pike. In the Spey, near 
Aviemore, and in the I^ochs of Pytoulish, Glenmore, and Alvie, 
he secured some monsters of extraordinary size. One of these 
is said by him to have been 5 feet 4 inches in length, and was 
calculated to weigh 48 lbs. ! Colonel Thornton speaks of Mr 
Stewart, Pytoulish, as accompanying him in some of his expedi- 
tions, and a retainer of his, who had been present at the killing 
of the great pike of I<och Pytoulish, in his old age when working 
as threshing man at the Dell of Rothiemurchus, used to delight 
the youngsters by a thrilling account of the adventure. The sports- 
men who have since invaded the country are beyond reckoning. 

A third class who may be mentioned are visitors who come 
for health or pleasure. Amongst these we have had many men 
of distinction. President Grant, of the United States, came to 
see the land of his fathers. Admiral Hobart Pasha, whose first 
wife was a daughter of Dr Grant of Kinchirdy, whom he won 
when he commanded the *' Bulldog" in the Mediterranean, in 
1847, twice visited Strathspey, and was once (1849) the writer's 
guest for a week. Dr James Martineau has for several years 
made his summer home at Polchar, Rothiemurchus, and his 
friends Jowett, Harrison, and Swinburne visited him there in 
1873. The beloved Dr John Brown (*'Rab and his Friends") 
spent a month at Coulnakyle in 1874, Mr Robert D. Holt, of 
Liverpool, held the Dell Shootings for fifteen years, and during 
that time Mr Herbert Spencer and other eminent men were 
guests at the Dell. Mr Spencer was fond of fi.shing. One 
season, when he came north, he told Mr Holt that he had been 
studying the habits of the salmon, and that he had discovered 



they, fishers, were all wrong as to their fly-hooks. They should 
be reversed in form as to the head, and he showed, with some 
pride, some flies which he had got made in this new shape. Mr 
Holt smiled, but said nothing. Next day Mr Spencer got the 
best water, and at luncheon he was asked as to his luck. Alas ! 
he had not had a single rise, while Mr Holt had got two nice 
fish. No more word was heard of the philosopher's new style of 
salmon flies. Mr John Bright was also a keen fisher, and used 
often to visit at Tulchan, in the time of Mr Bass. In 1886 he 
came to our parish to see his brother-in-law, Mr Duncan Mac- 
laren, Edinburgh, then staying at Achnagonaln. It was a 
red'leiier day on which I met him. I had seen Mr Bright many 
years before in Sutherland, and had correspondence with him, 
but this was the first time it had been my privilege to be together 
with him in private. Mr Maclaren was very deaf, and the burden 
of conversation fell upon Mr Bright. He was in high spirits, and 
talked of many things, but chiefly on Scottish subjects. He had 
interested himself in behalf of the widow of a Scottish literar>' 
man, whose case I had brought before him, and this led to his 
speaking of the minor Scottish poets. He said he should like to 
see a book with short biographies and specimens of these poets. 
I mentioned that something of the kind was being done in a 
London newspaper that claimed to be the organ of the 
Democracy. On this he said that the strongest thing he knew 
in English poetry on Democracy was in Shelley. He thought he 
could give the passage. He began, but failed at first. Pausing 
a moment, he began again, and then went on without stop or 
stumble to the end. It was grand to see the ** old man eloquent" 
declaiming this favourite passage. His eye kindled, his cheek 
flushed, his voice gained force and richness, he seemed ten 
years younger than when he started. 

'* The Masque of Anarchy.'* 

37. *• Men of England, heirs of glor>', 
Heroes of unwritten story, 
Nurslings of one mighty mother, 
Hopes of her and one another ! 


38. " Rise, like lions after slumber, 

In unvanqiiishable number ! 
Shake your chains to earth like dew 
Which in sleep had fallen on you 1 

39. '• What is freedom ? Ye can tell 

Thnt which slavery is too well, 
For its ver>' name is grown 
To an echo of your own. 

[o. " *Tis to work and have such pay 
As just keeps life from day to day 
In your limbs, as in a cell. 
For the tyrants use to dwell. 

41. '* So that ye for them are made, 

Loom and plough and sword and spade, 
With or without your own will, bent 
To their defence and nourishment. 

42. ** *Tis to see your children weak 

With their mothers pine and peak, 
Wlien the winter winds are bleak — 
They are dying whilst I speak." 

And so on for several stanzas. Mr Bright spoke also ver>' fairl>; 
of the Church Question (Scotland), and his last word, when 
bidding good-bye, was— ** Disestablishment or no, be iolerani, be 

Queen Victoria passed through the east end of our parish on 
her return journey from the romantic visit to Grantown in 
September, i860. In ** Leaves from the Journal of our Life in 
the Highlands," Her Majesty has the following entry: — **We 
passed over the Spey by the Bridge of Spey, It continued 
provokingly rainy, the mist hanging very low on the hills, 
which, however, did not seem to be ver>' high, but were pink 
with heathei. . . . The first striking feature in this country 
is the Pass of Daldhu, above which the road winds — a steep 
corrie with green hills. We stopped at a small inn, with only 
one house near it. . . . Further on we came to a very steep 
hill, also to a sort of pass, called Gle^i Bruin, with slate hills 


evidently of slate formation. Here we got out and walked down 
the hill, and over the Iiridi*e of Bruin, and partly up another 
hill, the road winding amazingly after this — up and down bill/' 
Had the day been favourable. Her Majesty might have seen to 
the east the Haughs of Cromdale, and at the head of the gorge 
John Ro> *s cave ; and passing along the shoulder of Sgor-gao- 
thaidh she might have obtained a splendid view ot the countr>' 
to the west, with Fk*n Nevis dimly visibly in the far distance. 
The Bridge of liruin is the eastern boundary of the parish, and a 
little beyond there is a dark gorge, with a very fine example of 
water- worn rocks, where 

*• Deep, deep down, and far wjthin. 
Toils with the rocks the roaring linn." 


: ;:."-ARY 




At the entrance to Glenmore, a little south of the Green Loch, 
there is a conical hill, called ** Sithean dubh- da-chohnhcad,'^ the 
black Sithan of the two outlooks. The name is descriptive. It 
appeals to memory and imagination, and brings the scene before 
us as in a picture. Standing on this height, you can look on the 
one side to the great glen opening out before you, with its 
far-stretching fir woods, mixed %vith birch and juniper, its 
well-watered glades and sheltered nooks where the deer love to 
feed, and its grand back-ground of snowy corries and rugged 
cliffs, and lofty mountains whose tops seem lost in the clouds. 
On the other side you look as through a cleft in the sky, across 
the moors to the strath of the Nethy, with its green fields and 
smiling homesteads, and the many signs of life and civilisation. 
This is the double outlook, which has charmed many an eye in 
the course of the ages. Something of the same kind happens 
now and again in human life. We come to some height, from 
which, as from a vantage ground, we can look before and after, 
and ponder the thoughts that arise from the prospect. Solomon 
tells us how in his time there were some who said, '* The former 
days were better than these." This is a common saying even 
still, but it is the result more of sentiment than reason. 

Macaulay in his famous chapter on the progress of England 
(Vol. I.) endeavours, with much ingenuity, to account for the 
belief—'* It may at first sight seem strange that Society, while 
constantly moving forward with eager speed, should be con- 
stantly looking backward with tender regret. But these two 
propensities, inconsistent as they may appear, can easily be 
resolved into the same principle. Both spring from our 


impatience of the stale in which we actually, are. That 
impatience, while it stimulates us to surpass preceding 
generations, disposes us to over-rate their happiness. It is, in 
some sense, unreasonable and ungrateful in us to be constantly 
discontented with a condition which is constantly impro\nng. 
But, in truth, there is constant improvement precisely bccau^i: 
there is constant discontent. If we wer^ perfectly satisfied with 
the present, we should cease to continue to labour, and to save 
with a view to the future. And it is natural that, being dis- 
satisfied with the present, we should form a too favourable 
estimate of the past." 

As to ourselves, there should be no delusion or mistake. In 
what is set forth in this book alone, there is sufficient evidence 
to enable us to come to a right decision. **The former days 
were better." But which days? "The days" of barbarism, 
when ** wild in woods the noble savage ran ? " No. '• The 
days" of the Catcrans^ when rapine and murder were common? 
No. '*The days" of the Baron Bailies^ when life and liberty 
were at the mercy of irresponsible power, and deeds were done, 
as Parson John has told, rivalling the atrocities of Tippoo 
Sultan ? No. *' The days " of ecclesicstical strife^ when the 
Parish Church was vacant for nineteen years, and, according 
to Archbishop Spottiswood, ** atheism, idolatrie, and ever>- sort 
of wickedness " prevailed? No. ** The days" of last centur}*, 
when, as Lachlan Shaw records, there was no School (legal) 
from Keith to Ruthven, and the bulk of the people were still 
sunk in ignorance and superstition ? No. Perhaps if the 
Elders were asked, they would say, ** The days of Mr 
Martin '' were the best, ** the Golden Age " of Abernethy. At 
that time there were several families of good position in our 
parish, who gave a higher tone to society, and there was much 
of the .spirit of good neighbourhood and brotherly sj-nipathy 
among the people. At that time there was virtually no 
*' dissent," and the people went up together in unity to 
\vor^hip in Gods At that time there was a marked 


revival of religion, and Sabbath-schools, Bible Societies, and 
other benevolent agencies were brought into active operation. 
But granting this, it may still be held that " the present," and 
not ** the former days," are on the whole the best. 

There have been losses, but there have also been gains. 
There have been changes for the worse, but there have been 
also changes that are greatly for the better. The environment 
of the people is improved. Houses are better, and home comforts 
are increased. Education is free, and has been brought within 
the reach of all. Books and newspapers are common, and 
facilities for intercourse and travel have been multiplied. The 
management of the poor, of schools, and of parish business is in 
the hands of the people. Opportunities for culture and advance- 
ment have been gained, while the Bible is still taught in our 
schools, and the Gospel of Christ is preached in our churches. 
In these and in other ways there has been decided improvement, 
and if the people of the present time are not equal to or better 
than their fathers, it must be their own fault — they cannot 
rightly throw the blame on circumstances. We cannot go back 
to the past. Our duty is to make the most of the present. If 
each of us were to do his part in his own place, living a Christian 
life in peace and charity — if we were all, old and young, to 
** stand fast" in truth, and ** serve one another in love"— then 
we might hope that God would bless us more and more, and 
that our dear parish would be a praise in the land, and the old 
glory be restored. 

■* Look not mournfully into the past — 
It comes not back again. 
Wisely improve the present. It is thine. 
Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and 
with a manly heart." 


Note 1 — ^P. 42. — Nether-Lochaber wrote, in answer to an enquiry: — " ' The 
Leanabh Ileach' is in truth of wide celebrity. I have again and again met 
with his sayings in every corner of Gaeldom — from the farthest north to the 
near neighbourhood of Perth, and to the Mull of Kintyre. He was not a 
Beaton, but a MaoPhee, and although all his wise sayings are attributed to 
him while he was still a * leanabh ' (a child), the tradition is that he lived to a 
great age. He was a dwarf and slightly deformed, and it is a fact, account 
for it as we may, that deformed dwarfs are celebrated in the folk-lore of most 
countries for the point and pungency of their sayings." 

Note 2 — ^P. 42. — " Mbakad an da-shealladh " (Maegabet op the two 
sights). — Margaret, or Meg, was the grandmother of the late Sergeant 
Eattray, Lynamar. Sho got the name from the following strange incident: — 
She was in the service of a gentleman in Badenoch, and had charge of an 
idiot daughter, who was usually tied up in an attic. One day Meg was 
baking, and the idiot was beside her. The poor girl begged that she might 
be set free for a little, and said she would requite Meg for her kindness. 
Meg got the father's permission. The idiot was delighted, but a few 
moments after she sank down dead. Meg returned to Tulloch, took ill, and 
was supposed to have died. Preparations were made for the funeral. The 
body was placed in the coffin, and, when the time came, the carpenter was 
nailing down the lid, in the rough way common at that time. Nail after 
nail was driven in, when suddenly the man stopped in terror, for he had 
discovered some movement in the coffin. The lid was hastily torn off, and 
then Meg was seen alive, with her eyes open. One of the nails had pierced 
her nose, and this had roused her from her swoon. She was asked what she 
had seen, and she said that she had seen her idiot friend, who had come to 
her and nhakcn her, crying out, as if in a frenzy, " Wake, wake, or they'll 
bury you alive." Meg had two daughters, one of whom married a Rattray. 
She was a great snuffer, and she used to ajnuse her grandchildren by letting 
thorn put her snuff quill into the liolc in her nose, saying they were playing 
the fiddle. 

Note 3 — ^P. 64. — ^Mr Skene, ** Celtic Scotland," vol. I., 474, has the follow- 
ing note: — ^" There is a curious document called Letters-patent, by William 



the Lyon, in 1171, roco^nieing the right of Morgund, the son of Gylleclery, 
to the Earldom of Murr, and that of Moray, tirHt printed by Selden. but its 
authority in too dmihtful to be founded on. See Acts of Pari., xi. 13." 

NoTK I — V. 71. — The tradilioiiH an in Lord Lovat's wedding, and also much 
beHide, were obtained from the late Ann Cameron, wiiose father, William 
Cameron, Rothiemoon, was ealled the " Cean-tighe." being the lineal 
descendant of the Captain of the Camerons, who came to Lochaber with the 



Baron of Kincardine's bride, in the sixteenth century. Ann had an extra- 
ordinary store of legends and traditions. She was in features a true Cameron, 
and she had what is regarded as a special sign of pure blood, " the Cameron 

NoTK 5 — 1*. 90. — ^There are two incised stones in the old Chapel Burying- 
grouud at Congash. There was another chapel, where there are still the 
remains of graves, on the hill behind Lethnachyle, and there was a third at 


ChapcltuUi in TuUoch, the site of which is still discernible. There arc many 
prehistoric romaius in our parish, such as hut circles, cairns, and carraghs. 
A stone axe was found at the Dell in 1826, when digging a drain, at a deptb 
of four feet, and was presented by Mr Forsyth to Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. 
It is now in the Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh. Flints, in the form of 
chips and arrow-heads, have been found at Clachaig, at the angle where the 
Dorback joins the Nethy, where they lie on the gravel; and at Craigmorc. 
viuro a streamlet runs to the qioor of Balnabalach. They appear to have 
been carried, and deposited under water. Flints have also been found at 
}:adnaoduin, Lethnachyle, Balintnim, i-nd in other places, where there mar 
have been manufactories in ancient times. Stone axes have been found in 
two or three places. 

Note 6 — P. 93. — Lkpkr-Window. — Examples of these low skew windows 
may be seen in the chancels of many old churches in England. Miss Agne^ 
Lambert, in an article on leprosy, 1884, says that a similar arrangement is to 
be found in North America, in rude wooden buildings of modern date. She 
describes one "chapel so arranged that a window, obliquely traversing the 
wall on each side of the partition which divides the two rooms, enables the 
patients of either sex to witness the celebration of the mass without meeting.* 

Note 7 — ^P. 112. — Mr John says, in the O.S.A.: — "There are two schools 
in the parish, and a Catechist from the Royal Bounty. The parochial salary 
is 200 merks, and a good school-house. The Society's salary in Kinchardine 
is £9, and one of the best school-houses in the Highlands.*' The teacher was 
Mr John Ross, a devout man, who did much good, both in the school and as 
catechist. He died in 1851. 

NoTK 8 — Frkb Education. — ^In a letter from me, inserted in the "Inver- 
ness Courier," 2nd December, 1874, it was suggested that a Conference of 
School Boards should be held to consider the bearing of the new School Act 
on education in the Highlands. The matter was taken up by Sir Kenneth 
Mackenzie, with characteristic energy, and at his instance a meeting was held 
at Inverness, on the 21st January, 1875, which was attended by upwards of 
forty representative members of School Boards. Various important resolu- 
tions were adopted, and amongst them were two motions made by me, one 
claiming more liberal grants for school buildings, etc., and the other 
recommending that it should be in the discretion of School Boards to give 
free elementary education to all children between the ages of five and 
thirteen. In July, 1886, a Conference of Scottish teachei-s was held -it 
Inverness, at which 1 read a paper on Free Education, which was afterwards 
published in the " Poor Law Magazine," August, 1886. When the Report of 
the Education Committee for 1888 was given in to the General Assembly. I 


proposed the following addition to the deliverance: — ^''That the Committoc 
be instructed to give special consideration to the Local Government Bill for 
Scotland, presently before the House of Commons, with the view of supporting 
the proposal of Iler Majesty's Government for applying part of the Probate 
Duties in furtherance of free education, while at the same time guarding the 
interests of secondary education." The motion was seconded by Dr Jamieson, 
of Aberdeen, and led to an interesting debate. Ultimately it was agreed to 
without a division. The General Assembly thus gave their approval to Free 

Note 9— P. 142.— The late Sir William Fraser gives the following inter- 
esting information in a letter, 8th August, 1896: — '" The Eegality Court Books 
of Grant, to which you refer, are not at Castle Grant, and this is the history 
of them: When I was engaged on the Grant Book, I ascertained that the 
Kceords of the Eegality had been produced in a litigation in the Court of 
Session, and were discovered by a clerk specially employed to overhaul what 
are technically called the ' XTnextracted Processes of the Court.' This was 
about forty years ago, and was quite unconnected with my department in the 
Register House at that time, although it ultimately came to me as Deputy 
Keeper of Records. The Regality Records of Grant, so found, were trans- 
ferred to the department known as the Historical Department of the Register 
House. On one of the visits of the late Earl of Seafield to me there, I 
specially pointed out to him the Regality Records, and he said that they 
ought to be at Castle Grant. Had his Lordship lived, his wish might have 
been carried out, but his lamented death occurring so soon afterwards, no 
proceedings were taken, and the Regality Records still remain in the Library 
of the Historical Department, where, I have no doubt, yon would be allowed 
to inspect them, according to the rules established in reference to searching 
the Public Records connected with proposed publications. Rev. Dr 

Note 10 — P. 197. — Inventobt of the Contents or the Deceased Mr 
James Stuabt of Achgoubish's Repositobies (Am Fear Ltath): — 

"At Achgourish, 15th January, 1796. Met here this day Lieut. James 
Cameron, in Kinrara; Duncan M'Intosh, at Doun of Rothiemurchus; Mr John 
Stuart, in Pytoulish; and Mr Charles Stuart, in Knock; also James M'Gregor. 
in Aldnacardoch ; Patrick Stuart, at Achgourish; and Margaret M'Gregor, 
his spouse, to unseal and open the repositories of the deceased Mr James 
Stuart, of Achgourish, which were accordingly unsealed and examined, in 
our presence, and in which was found the following Deeds, kc. : — 

" Ist. Disposition and Settlement of said Deceased Mr James Stuart, dated 
Achgourish, the 24th day of September 1795. 


"2nd. Hill, William Stuart, in Toradow of Gartenmoro, due to the said 
defeased Mr JameH Stuart, which Bill in dated the 5th April 1794, and pay- 
able at Mart. 17l>t, rontaininj,' the Rum of Four hundred and seventy merks* 
Sr(»tM money. 

" 3rdly. Mnrtitirati')ii Drrd for Tour hundred niiik*- for the ptj*«r of the 
Barony t.f Kiiuairn. d.ited JSth March 170.5. 

'* tthly. Bond nuMitiuied in the DiHjxtsition jjranted by the late Geor£»f 
M'Pherson of InveicMhie. which Bond is in the p<)s«ession of Mr John Stuart, 
in Pytoulish. 

" 5thly. Cawh found in the Reposit«»rie«, Ten poundK. three shilling and 
seven pence Sterling; : also two pieces of Spaninh Bilver, one resembling a 
Dollar, and the other a half-crown piece. 

"The Revd. John (irant of Abernethy having come in and examined with 
us, the foretjoinpr nanuMl and desipned ])erHon8, the Raid Repositories — All of 
us here attest that the forcjjoiiijj Deeds and Cash was all that was found in 
said Repositories. exce]>t some old papers which appeared to us to be useless. 
It is also attested by us. that the said Deed of Settlement above mentioned, 
and the Cash also above mentioned, were just now delivered to above men- 
tioned Mars^aret M'(iretror: also the above Deed of Mortitication with the 
Bill containinsT four hundred and twenty merks, above narrated, were 
instantly delivered to the Revd. Mr John Grant of Abernethy — implementinir 
the intention <»f the said Deed — in testimony whereof we have signed these 
Presents, place and d:ite foresaid. John Grant; Jam: Cameron; Duncan 
M'Intosh : John Stuart : Cliarles Stuart; James M'Grejjor: Patrick Stewart: 
Marcfaret M'Grepfor." 

The above document is interesting, as shewing the condition of a Kin- 
cardine tacksman, and the state of education of his compeers, in the end nf 
last century. The siu^natures are all in the handwriting of the person? 

Note 11 — ^P. 202. — Aaron Hill was fond of scribbling on inn windows. He 
wrote the following on a window of an inn on the first stage north -if 
Berwick: — 

" Scotland, thy weather 's like a modish wife. 
Thy winds and rains for ever are at strife ; 
So termagant, awhile her bluster tries, 

And when she can no longer scold — she cries." 

Note 12 — P. 221. — The moon was called Macfarlane's Lantern. See note 
z., " Waverley." The motto of the Hardens was, " Reparabit Comua 
Phcobe " — 


" O leeze me on her bonny light ! 
There's nought sae dear to Ilarden's Bight. 
Troth, gin she shone but ilka night 

Our clan might live right royallic." 

Falstaff says to Prince Ilenry (1 Henry IV., 1, 2) — " Marry, then, sweet wag, 
when thou art king, let nut us that are squires oi the night's body be called 
thieves of the day's beauty; let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the 
shade, minions of the moon." 

Note 13— P. 225.— Mr John Smith, factor for Strathspey, has kindly 
furnished me with the following particulars as to Local Rates paid by 
Agricultural Tenants and Shooting Tenants (1898-9): — 

Parish of Abernethy — Population, 1350. 
Approximate Rental. 

Lady Seafield £6000 

House Proprietors 1000 

Total £7000 

No. of Shooting Tenants 3 

No. of Agricultural Tenants 1.33 

Average Rent payable by Agricultural Tenants, £20. 
Rents paid by 3 Shooting Tenants, £3420, the Rates on which 

are £174 11 3 

Rents paid by 133 Agricultural Tenants, £2740, less * (£1713) 

— £1027, on which the Rates are 52 8 5 

Excess paid by Shooting Tenants £122 2 10 

That is to say, for every shilling of rates paid by an agricultural tenant, 
a shooting tenant pays 3s 4d. 

Note 14 — ^P. 262. — "The Grant's Raid to Elgin": — 

Ye Highland lads, sing loud huzzas, 
'S bidhibh subhach greanar, 
Tha onair m5r 's cliu as ur, 
Tigh'nn air an teaghlach Ghranntach: 
Craigellachic will shout with glee, 
GuB am freagair cnoic 's coilltean, 
O bidhibh ait, a Gaidheal ghasda, 
Gacb 6igear agus maighdean, 


For now a toast we liavc t<i boast, 
I'hiid'K dh ara*H srulh iiu beauiituu, 
Cfiim Im'iI MiK8 Grjiiud air ardachd rang 
*S air •• Htilig** uia na Uaiii-Tif^hcarn. 
Oh, who would not drink out this toast, 
Cha'n 'oil iad 'n bo air am planntai^;, 
Xa<-h deaiiadh a h-<M d»> hum an loin 
Air slainnte an h^ oigh Ohranntach. 

It's well our part to join one heart, 
Gu cliik a chuir an geill dhnibh 
Oir 'sea rnin a thighinn car iiino 
A' thamh measg luchd na feile. 
The lads ho clean, with tartans green, 
'S ann asrla dh' carbs' i 'n cairdeas. 
O b' e an riiin bhi tarraing dliith 
*Nuair bhiodh na Goill *ga sarach. 

When the Chief of Grant abroad did rant, 

Bha feum air gaisgich Ghaidhealach 

Gu dhol air ball am feadh nan Gall 

Chnmail ceart na meirlioh ; 

With bonnets blue, and hearts so true, 

Rinn iadsan Eilginn sguabadh 

*S na Goill gu dluth ruith anns gach ciiil 

Gun toil, gun surd gu bualadh. 

The river Spey will sooner dry, 
*B fhuras Caimgorm a' thionndadh. 
Na iadsan buaidh thoirt air an t-sluagh 
Tha shuas an glac nam beanntann. 
Now, here's adieu, Miss Grant, to you, 
Do dheagh dheoch slainnte 'sa* Ghailig. 
*S mu bhioB feum air daoine Srathsp^, 
Cha threig iad thu *b cha 'n fhhillig. 

And Colonel Grant we'll not forget. 
Tha nis aig onair dhbailt, 
'S Hon a n-aird mo ghlain gu hhrr 
'»S olaidh mi dha oiipan ; 


Long may he man the Highland Clan 
Le onair 'aighcar 's aillteachd. 
Is bidh ainm air luaidh le cliii 's buaidh, 
Air machair 's air Gaidhealtachd. 

When times began to take a turn 

'S dar bha sinn air ar earach, 

Chuir e g^n deas thun 'n-taobh-deas 

A cheannach biadh gu 'r n'arach ; 

Both corn and meal he did retail 

Do na h-uile bha 'an eiginn, 

'S e is barail leinn gun do chaomhain c roinn 

Bho basach air na sl^ibhtean. 

When meal was dear and far from here 
'S an t-airgiod bhi gle ghann duinn, 
'S nach robh siol-cuir an taoibhs' do 'n mhuir 
A rachadh 'chuir 's na beanntan ; 
And when with frofit our crop was lost, 
Bha sgread ro chruaidh 'sa OhM'ldeachd, 
Le cridh' bllith thug e g^un d^il 
Blian beagan do na mhhl dhuinn. 

Who would not then all join as one 

Thoirt cliu dho 'n Choirnal bheusach, 

'S bidh chreag ud shuas 'cur fuaim a nuas 

'S bidh Carngorm ag eisdeachd; 

The forests round will hear the sound 

S' ni iad fuam bhios fuasach, 

'S thig Ne'ich bhiin na tonnan ban 

'S i 'g digheachd ri Sp& bhi gluasad. 

Let mirth abound and health go round 
Deoch slkinnte do Ghaiptein Grannda, 
'S e chuir air luaidh air moch Diluain, 
'S e mach air leathad nam beanntan ; 
By four o'clock he made a smoke, 
'S bha biadh an sin 'saa hm sin« 
Bha mac na brach' an sin 'gar baisd 
Le aighear 'p co67 'b dannsadh. 



I don't incline the rest to name. 
Do uaillflibh ghusd 8hra-Sp^ dhuibh, 
Cha 'n urrainn mi an innseadh le brigh 
Na 'n cliii a chuir an geill dliuibh : 
But they are true, and hardy too. 
Is gaiBgich iad an cigiun ; 
'S iad chumadh ccann ri claim nam beann 
Is Granndach na'm biodh fcum orra. 

High are their bens and deep their glens, 
Tha sll^inte ri fhaighinn annta 
O 'a e mo rilin air maduinn ciiiin. 
An siubhal air latha samhraidh ; 
They're full of joy, no cares annoy, 
Tha fiadh 's laoigh ann moran, 
'N coileach dubh 's a* chearc gu-gu^ 
'S a' mhadainn binn atr orain. 

By crystal springs the cuckoo sings 
O 's ait leam bhi ga h-eisdeach, 
'S an sm^rach binn do chM do linn 
A measg nam preas 's nan geugan; 
By rising sun through every den 
Bidh 'n tunnag f hiadhach 's a h-^l ann ; 
O 's e mo rilin gus an dilin mo shilil 
Bhi seinn air cliil na GUldeachd. 

NoTK 15 — ^P. 263. — The Iron Mill Croft. — ^The beams and framework 
may still be seen in the bed of the river. 

"There seem to have been upright posts in some of the beams, probably 
to support a platform. The sluices for conveying water to the works appear 
to have been between these upright posts. The whole timber is perfectly 
fresh, and the morticed ends of the beams are carefully numbered with the 
axe. The haugh above (to the right) must have formed a reservoir for 
supplying the machinery with water." 

" The excavations of the river Nethy, on the Iron-Mill Croft, are extremely 
interesting to the geologist. We have here the history of the operations of 
a river for exactly a century. At this time, 100 years ago, the English 
Company were pounding iron-ore with their ponderous hammers, moved by 
active machinery, in the bed of the river Nethy. These actors move off th? 
stage, and the river, in some of its floods, soon obliterates all traces of tliem 
or of their works, by filling up its bed with rounded masses of stone, mingled 


with gravel, and so, by shutting itself out of one channel, compelling its 
stream to seek another, considerably to the westward. But floods succeed 
floods ; and the quieter portions of each successive inundation spread over the 
ground, where, by degrees, they deposit a deep and fertile soil, forming a 
rich haugh land, the surface of which is six or eight feet above the level of 
the ground the works stood on. The greater part of this beautifu) flat is 
subjected to tillage, whilst the seeds of some neighbouring alder trees find 
their way into a portion of it, and spring up into a g^ove. The trees grow 
till they become tall and majestic; and agricultural labour goes on, till the 
Iron-Mill is as much forgotten as the face and figure of John Crowley, who 
worked it; when comes the flood of the 3rd and 4th August last, tears off the 
shroud that covered it, and brings all back again to light, save the busy 
human beings who once animated the scene." — Sir T. D. Lauder, p. 202. 

Note 16. — P. 341. — The following is the inscription on the tombstone of 
Colonel Carmichael, in the Church-yard of Cromdale : — 


Born at Kinrara, June 26, 1792 ; 

Died at Forres, August 8, 1844. 

Entering the Army in 1809 as an Ensign in the 59th Regt. of Foot, 

he served his country 34 years with distinguished honour. 

At Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive, and Waterloo he earned the 

repiitation of a zealous and intrepid officer; 

and at the Assault of Bhurtpore, for a feat of extraordinary valour, 

he was officially thanked by the General in Command, 

Sir Jasper NicoUs. 

His efforts in contributing to restore order in Canada during the commotions 

in 1838, &c., were duly appreciated and acknowledged by the 

Local Government, 

and by all the well-affected in that Colony. 

As a man he was kind and generous, devoted to the interests of his country, 

beloved by his companions-in-arms, and esteemed by all who knew him. 

After a short but painful illness, which he bore with Christian submission 

to the Divine will, 

he died in the hope of a blessed resurrection. 

This Monument 

his sorrowing Sisters have erected to an affectionate and lamented Brother. 


Note 17.— P. 337.— Before the appointment of "The Ministers' Widows' 
Fund," vacant stipends fell to be administered by the Presbytery of the 
bounds. In this way a sum of ^200, from the parishes of Ahernethy, Crom- 


dale, nnd Uutliil, was held by the Presbytery of Abemetby (1724). It was 
for 8OI110 time placed at interest in the hands of the Cuthl)ert» of Castlehill. 
Inverness, but that family falling into difficulties, the money was like to be 
lost. Eventually, through the good offices of the Laird of Grant, the money 
was recovered, and it was then dopositod with the Laird (1737), who paid £10 
yearly of interest to the Presbytery. For some years this sum was given in aid of 
the salary of the master of the Strathsjicy Academy, first established at 
Cromdale, and afterwards at Grantown. When the new Education Act came 
into operation, the Presbytery claimed the jC2(X) from Lord Seafield, but, after 
some correspondence, an agreement was made by which the Presbytery relin- 
quished their claim, on condition of Lord Scalicld giving over free the build- 
ings and site of Grantown Grammar School to the School Board of Cromdale. 
By this agreement the parish of Cromdale benefited exclusively, which was 
not fair to the parishes of Abernethy and Duthil, from which undoubtedly 
the larger part, if not the whole, of the money had been originally obtained. 
By the arrangement for the transference of the Female School to the School 
Board of Cromdale these parishes were again the losers, as no proper com- 
pensation was made to them for the rights and privileges which they had 




RiOH ! gur mor mo chuid mhulaid. 
Gar am fulling sibh dhomh a luai4h, 
'S mi bhi 'g iarraidh nan caochain 
Mu na daoine a dh' fhalbh uaina. 

Do Fhadruig 's do Ian, dh' fhag sud snigh' air mo ghruaidh. 
Ach is truagh a Righ ! nach do thill sibh, 
An Gleann Sith na'm Braigh Mharr, 
Mun deach sibh Dhuneidinn a lirig ar n' airm. 
Ort cha ghabh an droch la, 
Cuir na cathadh, na sian chruaidh. 
Is trie a shinbhail thu monadh' Atholl 


Hi latha ceuthaich, guu ghruaim. 
Is trie bheum do lamh teinne 
Aig ceann Loch Earaicht ud shuas. 
Leis a ghunna nach diultadh^ 
Is leis an fhudar chaol chruaidh. 
Is tu sealgair Coire Chaorach, 
'S Coire Laogh nan damh donn 
A's ann an Eidhlig a CUiuilionn, 
'S trie a dh' fhuilich do lann. 
'S trie rinn do lamh sithionn, 
Ob ceann ruigh an Allt bhan, 
'S bhiodh bus dearg air do chuilean, 
A tighinn bho uilinn nan allt. 
Ach deanar cumha c^ia sgith mi — 
Deanar cumha cha sgith mi — 
Gus an dean sibh dhomh leabaidh 
Far nach bog leam, 's nach cruaidh. 


'O Thulaichean gu Bealaichean, 

'S 'o Bhealaichcan gu Tulaichean; 

'S mur faigh sinn leann 's na Tulaichean^ 

Gu 'n 611 sinn uisg^ Bhealaichean. 

Bu Gbrigarach do rireamh, 
O Buadh shruth ann Gleannliomhunn, 
A rinn an ceol tha riomhach ; 
Bis an canar leinn na Tulaichean. 
'O Thulaichean, &c, 

B' ann an Tigh na Sraid^, 
A thug iad ionnsuidh hhia air, 
'S mur bitheadh & ro ladair, 
Bha ochdnar n&mh ro mhurraoh air. 
'O Thulaichoan, &c. 

Ach labhair laiu-Dubh-Oearr riubh, 
Bha mise ann 's a cheardaich, 
'S cha chrom mi sios mo cheann duibh, 
Ge d' thionndadh sibh uile rium. 
'0 Thulaichean, &c. 


'N sin bhuail iad uil* air coladlt, 
'S ge d^ bha Iain Dubh na 6nar, 
Cha b-ann d' am buannachd toiseach» 
Bha full mu' sbroin na h-uil^ fir. 
'0 Thulaichean, Ac. 

'S 'n uair thaisg e suas a gheur-lann, 
'S a dh' ioc e mbeud *b a dh' eigh h, 
Thug e 'n sin Sra Sp^ air, 
'S bha to ann a chuir furan air. 
'O Thnlaichean, Ac. 

Chuir iad cuideacbd ladair. 
An doigh Iain Dnibh Mhic Phadric, 
'S 'n uair shaoil leo h bhi 'n sas ac\ 
'S e hhs bh' air a chumadb dhoibh. 
'O Thnlaichean, Ac. 

Oir thainig fios an uaigneas. 
Do 'n t-shabhal, 's h na shuain ann, 
" Tog ort, Iain Diiibh, 'a bidh gluasad, 
'S Ur as cho Inath 's a 's urra dhuit." 
'O Thnlaichean, Ac. 

'S e thuirt a leannan ciatach, 
*' A ghaoil, cuir ort! *8 bidh trcunmhor. 
Is dhuit bithidh misc feumail, 
Oir oiridh mi gu 'd chuideachadh." 
'O Thnlaichean, Ac. 

" Thoir uidhcam dhomh gu surdail. 
Is lionaidh mi gu dli^th dhuit ; 
'N sin cumsa, ghraidh, do chul rium, 
'S do shiiil air na h-uil^ fear." 
'O Thulaichean, Ac. 

Sheall o cia lion bh' ann diubh, 
Mu 'n rachadh e gu 'n ionnsuidh ; 
Bha dk fhear dheug, a's ceannard, 
Co teann air 's a b' urra iad. 
'O Thnlaichean, Ac. 


Chum e riu a bhotach, 
'S bha Iseabal 'g a chonadh, 
Gha do thikr iad gua an eolas, 
'S finn leon e gu h-ullamh iad. 
'O Thnlaicbean, &c. 

Ghearr e leum gu h-ttatrom, 
Gq 'n ionnsuidh, agus fraocb air, 
Clia d' fbag e ceann air b-aon diu, 
Thoirt sgeul air an turas nd. 
'O Thnlaicbean, &c. 

Mo bheannachd air an t-ehealgair, 
Annad chuirinn earbsa, 
'S ta linn an gniomh neo^bearbacli ; 
'S in dheorbh a bhi urramacb. 
'O Thnlaichean, &c, 

Tbuirt Iain Dubb, 's e tionndadb, 
" 'O n' rinn mi 'n gniomb bha shannt orm, 
Ghaoil, grad thoir deoch do 'n leann domh, 
'S gu 'n danns' mi na Tulaichean." 
'O Thulaiohean, &c. 

Gach breitheamh fad na tir^, 
Mu labhras iad an fhirinn. 
Do 'n thig do cbeol a fllean, 
Dhinbh 's e 'n righ na Tulaichean. 
'O Thulaicbean, &c. 

Tha Tnlach-gorm is Seann-trinbhas, 
Bo ainmail ann 's an am bo. 
Is ge do tha, cha samhr iad. 
Do m' annsachd, na Tulaichean. 
'O Thulaiohean, &c. 

Ge math a Chutach-chaol-dubh, 
'S gach ceol ata ri fhaotain, 
Cha d-thig iad mar fhad glaoidhe. 
Bo m' ghaolsa, na Tulaichean. 
'0 Thulaichean. &c. 


B' e 'n t-aidhear is an t-aoiblineaa, 
'N am cruiuncachodh ri cheili, 
'Nuair chluinneamaid na teiidau, 
Qa 'n gleusadh do ua Tiilaichean. 
'O Thulaichean^ &c. 

Air f^llibhj no aig bliinnsibh, 
'N uair theid an dcoch nan ccanusa. 
On 'n eirich fonn air seann daoin\ 
A dhannsadh nan Tulaichean. 
*0 Thulaicliean, &c. 

Na 'm bithinn mar bu gliuath learn, 
'S Mac Ailpain a bhi laimh rium, 
Bu bhinn learn bhi ga iisdcachd, 
'N uair thhreadh air na Tulaichean. 
'0 Thulaichean, &c. 

Ge d' tha mi leth eheud bliadhna, 
*S mo chiabhagan air liathadh, 
Cha tugainn fein mo bhriathrau, 
Nach iarrainn na Tulaichean. 

'O Thulaichean gu Bealaichean, 

'S 'o Bhealaichean gn Tulaichean ; 

'S mur faigh sinn Icaun 's na Tulaichean, 

Gu 'n 61 sinn uisge Bhealaichean. 



O! ouii mor mo chuis mhulaid, 

'S mi ri caoine na guiu a la 'm lliir, 
A righ! bi laidir *b tu 's urraiiiii, 

Ar naimhdean a chumail fo chis 
Oimne 's laidir diuc Uilleam, 

'N rag mhcirleach tha guin aigc dhuinn ; 
B' e Bud salchar nan steallag, 

Tigh'n an uachdar air chruincachd an fhuinn. 


Mo chreach Tearlach Buadh, boidheacli, 

Bhi fo bhinn aig righ De6r8a nam biasd ; 
B' e and diteadli na c6rach. 

An fhirinn 'sa beul foipe sios; 
Ach a righ mas a deoin leat, 

Cnir an rioghachd air seol a chaidh dhinn, 
Cnir righ dligheach na eorach, 

Bi linn na tha beo os ar cinn. 

Mo chreach armailt nam breacan, 

Bhi air sgaoileadh 'a air sgapadh 's gach ait, 
Aig fior bhalgairean Shaauinn^ 

Nach no ghnathaich bonn ccartais na 'n dail ; 
Qed a bhuannaich iad baitcal, 

Cha b' ann da 'n cniadal na 'n tapadh a bha^ 
Ach gaodh n-iar agua fraaan, 

Thigh'n a nioa oirnn bhar machair nan Gall. 

'S truagh nach robh ainn an Saannn, 

Gun bhi cho teann air ar dachaidh aa bha, 
'S cha do agaoil ainn cho aithghearr, 

Bhiodh ar dichioll ri aoaaamh n'a b' fhearr; 
Ach 'a droch dhraoidheachd a'a drachdan, 

Binneadh dhuinne mu 'n deachaa na 'n dail. 
Air na frithean eolach do agap ainn, 

'S bu mhi^homhail gu'n d' fhairtlich iad oirnn. 

Mo chreach mhor ! na cuirp ghl^-gheal, 

Tha na 'u laigh' air na sleibhtean ud thall. 
Gun chiate gun leintean, 

Ga 'n adhlaiceadh fhein anna na tuill ; 
Chuid tha beo dhiu 'n dcigh agaoileadh, 

'S iad ga fogar le gauthan thar tuinn; 
Fhuair a Chuiga' a toil fein dinn, 

'S cha chan iad ach " r^ubaltaich " ruinn. 

Fhuair na Gaill ainn fo 'n caaan, 

'S mor a naire 'aa maaladh aid leinn, 
'N deigh ar dUthcha 'a ar 'n Mte, 

A aptlilleadh 'a gun bhlatha againn ann; 


Caisteal Dhuinidh 'u deigh a loBgadh, 
'S e na laraich lorn, thosdach, gun mhiagh; 

Gu 'm b' e 'n caochala* goirt e, 
Gu 'n do chain sinu gaoh sochair a b' fhiach. 

Cha do shaoil learn, le m' shuilean, 

Gu 'm faicinn gach ciiis mar a iha, 
Mur sputadh nam faoilloach, 

'N am nan luidhcan a sgaoilcadh air blar; 
Thug a chuibhle car tiunndaidh, 

'S tha ioraa fear aim-choart an cha; 
A Righ seall le do chaoimhneas, 

Air na fir tli' aig na naimhdean an sas. 

'S mu mor eucoir 'n luchd ui-duigh, 

An f huil ud a dhortadh le foill ; 
Mo sheachd mallachd aig Deorsa, 

Fhuair e 'n lath' ud air ordugh dha fhein; 
Bha *n da chnid air a mhooirean, 

Moran giogan gun trocair le foill ; 
Mheall e sinue le ch6mra\ 

'S gu 'n robh ar barail ro mhor air r'a linn. 

Ach fhad 'sa 's beo sinn r*ar latha, 

Bi'dh Binn caoidh na ceathairn chaidh dhinn, 
Na fir threubhach bha sgairteil, 

Dheanadh teugbhail le claidheamh 's le sgiath ; 
Mur biodh siantan n' ar n' aghaidh, 

Bha sinn shios air ar n' aghairt gu dian, 
'8 bhiodh luchd Beurla na 'n laidhe, 

Ton-air-cheann, b' e sid m' aighear 's mo mhiann. 

Och nan och! 'e mi fo sprochd, 

'S mi 'n dr^sda ri osnaich leam feiu 
'G amharc feachd an dti-Bosaich, 

'G ithe feur agus cruineachd an fhuinn; 
Hothuich iargalt a's Cataich, 

Tigh'n a nail le luchd chasag a's lann, 
lad mar mhiol-choin air acras, 

Siubhal criochan, cham, chlach, ague bheann. 


Mo chreach ! tlr air an tainig, 

Binn sibh nis clar reidh dh' i cho lorn. 
Gun choirce gun ghn^isich. 

Gun Biol taght' ann am f asach na 'm fonn, 
Pris na circ air an sp&rdan, 

Gu ruige na sp^inean thoirt uainn, 
Ach sgrios na craoibhe fa bla dhiubh. 

Air a crionadb fo barr gus a bonn. 

Tha ar cinn fo 'na choille, 

'S eigin beanntan a's gleannain thoirt oirnn, 
Sinn gun stlgradh gun mhacnus. 

Gun eibhneas, gun aitneas^ gun cheol. 
Air bheag bidbe no teine^ 

Air na stiican an laidheadh an ce6, 
Sinn mar cbomhachaig eile, 

Ag eisdeachd ri deireas gach 16. 


O ! OUB mis' th' air mo chrltdh, 
Tbuit mo chridhe gu l&r, 
'S trie snighe gu m' shail o m' leirsinn. 
O ! gur mis', &c. 

Dh' fhalbh mo chlaistinneachd bhuam, 
Gha chluinn mi 'sa n' uair« 
Gu mall na gu luath ni 's 6ibhinn. 
Dh' fhalbh mo, &c. 

Mu PhrionnB* Thearlach mo ruin, 
Gighre dligheach a chruin, 
'S e gun fhios ciod an taobh a theid e. 
Mu Thearlaph, &c. 

Fuil rioghail nam buadh, 
Bhi 'ga diobairt 's an uair, 
'S mac diolain le 'shluagh ag ^iridh. 
Fuil rioghail, Ac. 

Siol nan cuilean a bha, 
Ga 'n ro mhath chiiinich an t-&l, 
Chuir iad sinn' ann an caa na h-^igin. 
Siol nan cuilean, &c. 


(fod a bhi:auiiaich Mbh bliir, 
Cha b* an d* ur cruadal a bha, 
Ach gun ar shluaghan bhi *n dail a cbeilc. 
God a bhnannaicli, Ac. 

Bha iad iomadaidh bhoainn, 
Dhoth gach finno mil thiiath, 
'S bu mhioad einn' e ri uair ar feu ma. 
Bha iad iomadaidh, &c. 

Coig .brataichean sruil, 
Bu TO mhath chuireadh an 16, 
Gun doine dhiubh choir a chcile. 
Coig brataichean, &c. 

I aria Chromba \v shb^igh. 
\\rii8 Bl^rasdal 6g, 
•S Mac-'Ic-Ailcin le sheoid narh geilleadh. 
larla Chromba, Ac. 

Clann-Ghriogair nan Gleaun 
Bnidhoann ghiobach nan lann 
'8 iad a thigeadh a nail na 'n eight* iad. 
Clann-Ghriogair, &c. 

Clann-Mhuirich nam buadh, 
lad-san uile bhi bhuainn, 
Gur h-« m* iomadan tniagh r'a leughadh. 
Clann-Mhuirich, &c, 

A Chlaun-Domhnuill mo ghaoil, 
'Ga *m bu shuaioheantaA fraoch, 
Mo chreach uile! nach d' fhaod sibh eiridh. 
A Chlann-Douihnuill, &c. 

An fhuil uaibhreach gun mheaug. 
Bha buan, cruadalach, ann. 
God chaidh ur bualadh an am na teugbhail. 
An fhuil uaibhroach, Ac. 

Dream eile mo chreach, 
Fhuair an lainihscacha* goirt, 
Ga 'n ceann am Frisealach gasda, troubhach. 
Dream eile, Jbc. 


Clann-Fhiunulaidh Bliraigh-Mliarr, 
Buidheann ceannsgalach, ard« 
'Xuair a gblaoidlite " adbkaint" 's iad dh' eireadb. 
Clann-Fhiunnlaidh, &c. 

Mo chreach uilc 'a mo bhroii, 
Na fir ghasd' tha fo leon, 
Clann-Chatain nan srol bhi dheis-laimh. 
Mo chreach uile, &c. 

Chain sinn DomhnuU donn, Buairc, 
O Dhun Chromba so shuas. 
Mar ri Alasdair niadh na foile. 
Chain sinn Domhnull, &c. 

Chain sinn Raibeart an aigh, 
'S cha bu ghealtair e 'm bl^r 
Fear sgathadh nan cnamh 'e nam fcithean. 
Chain sinn Raibeart, &c. 

'S ann thuit na rionnagan gasd ; 
Btt mhath aluinn an dreach, 
Cha bu ph&igheadh leinn mairt na 'n 6irig. 
'S ann thuit, &c. 

Air thus an latha dol sios, 
Bha gaoth a cathadh nan sian. 
As an adhar bha trian'ar leiridh. 
Air thus an latha, &c. 

Dh' fhas an talamh oho trom, 
Gach fraoch, fearann a's funn, 
'S nach bu chothrom dhuinn lorn an t-sleibhe. 
Dh' fhas an talamh, &c. 

Lasair theine nan Gall, 
Frasadh pheileir mu *r ceann, 
Mhill Bid eireachdas lann *8 bu bheud e. 
Lasair theine, &c, 

Mas fior an d&na g'a cheann, 
Gu 'n robh Achan 'sa champ, 
Dearg mheirleach nan rand '« nam breugan, 
Mas fior an daana. &c. 


'S e Bin an Seanalair mo 
(train a's mallachd an t-Kloigh, 
Roic e onoir 'sa choir air eucoir. 
'8 c Bin an, &c. 

Thionnduidh choileir *ha chleoc. 
Air son an sporain bu mho, 
Rinn sud dolaidh do sheoid righ Seumas. 
Thionndaidh, &c. 

Ach thig cuibhle an fhortain mu *n coairt. 
Gar bho dhcas na bho thuath, 
'S gheibh ar 'n eas-caraid dnais na h-€»ucoir. 
Aoh thig cuibhle, &c. 

'S gu 'm hi Uilleam Mac Dhebrs', 
Mur chraoibh gun dnilleach fo le6n, 
Qun fhreamh, gun mheangan, gun mheoirean g^ige. 
'S gu 'm bi Uilleam, &c. 

Gu ma lorn bhios do leac. 
Gun bhean, gun bhrathair gun mhac. 
Gun fhuaim cHirsaich, gun lasair ch^ire. 
Gu ma lom, &o. 

Gun 061a8, Bonaa, no seanns, 
Ach d61a8 dona mu d' cheann, 
Mur bh' air ginealach Chlann na h-Eiphit. 
Gun Bolas, Bonas, &c, 

A's chi sinn fhathasd do cheann, 
Dol gun athadh ri crann, 
'S coin an adhair gu t«ann ga r^ubadh. 
A's chi Btnn, &c. 

'S bidh Binn uile fa-dhe6idh, 
Anion sean agus 6g, 
Fo 'n righ dhligheach 'ga 'n coir duinn geilleadh. 
'S bidh Binn. &c. 



Aio taobli sruthain na shuidhe 's e sglth, 
Tha 'n Chriosdaidh bochd Iain Buadh^ 

Na cheatharnacli fhathasd ^n sith, 
Sa chas air tuisloadh sa 'n tim gu truagh. 

Ma thig Duimhnich na Gataich a'm dhMl, 
Mu 'n Blanaich mo luigheannan truagh, 

Ged thig iad cho trie a's is MIL 
Cha chuir iad orm lamh le luath's. 

Ni mi 'n ubhaidh rinn feadar do PhW, 
'S a Itligliean air fas leum bruaich, 

Seachd paidir 'n ainm Sagairt a's PJip, 
Ga chuir ris na phlJisd mu 'n cuairt. 

TJbhaidh eile as leith Mhuire nan grlis, 
'S urrainn creideach dheanadh slan ri uair ; 

Tha mis' am chreideamh gun teagamh, gun dail, 
Gu'n toir sinn air ar naimhdean buaidh. 

Sgeul eile 's gur h-oil learn gu'r fior, 
Tha 'n drasd anns gach toir mu 'n cuairt, 

Gach fear gleusda bha feumail do 'n righ, 
Bhi ga 'n ruith f eadh gach frith air an ruaig. 

Bodaich dhona gun onair, gun bhrigh, 

Ach gionach gu ni air son duals, 
Gabhail fath oirnn 's gach hit ann sa'm bi — 

Cuir a chuibhle so' Chriosda mu *n cuairt ! 

Ma thionndas i deiseal an drhsd, 

'S gu'm faigh Frangaich am Flannras buai', 
Tha 'm earbs' as an targanachd bha, 

Gu 'n tig armailt ni sta dhuinn thar chuan. 

Gu'n toir Fortan dha didean le grka, 

Mur Mhaois 'nuair a thraigh a mhuir ruadh, 

'S gu'm bidh Deorsa le 'dhrealainibh bait, 
Mur bha 'n t-amadan Pharaoh 's a shluagh. 


*Nuair bha Israel sgith 'san staid ghrais, 
Riiiiieudh Saul an la Hin an righ. 

Thug e sgiursadh le miosguinu a's plaigh, 
Orra fein, air an al 'h air an ni. 

Is amliuil blia Breatuinn fo bhron, 
O 'ua threig iad a choir 'a an righ ; 

(ihahh flaithcas rinn corruich ro-mhor, 
Crom-an-donais ! chaidh 'n seorea 'n diasg. 

A Righ ahooraich Muirc nan grhs, 
Crom riumsa Ic baigh do chluas ; 
*S mi *g umhhidh le m' ghliin air an lar, 
Gabh achanaich araid bhnam. 

Cha*n 'eil sinn a sireadh ach coir, 
Thug Cuigs agus Dheorsa bhuainn; 

'Roir do cheartais thoir neart dhuinn a's treoir, 
A's cum sinn bho fhoirneart slnaigh ! Amkn. 


CiA iad na dee 's na Duilean tr^un, 

Theid leamaa sa'n sgeul' bhroin? 
Tha ghealach f68, 's na reultan glan, 

'S a ghrian fo smal gach 16, 
Gach craobh, gach coill, gach bean *b cloinn, 

Dha 'm beil na'm broinn an deb, 
Gach luibh, gach feur, gach ni *fl gach spreidh. 

Mu'n ti rinn boisge mor. 

Mar choinneal ch6ir, '» i lasadh treun. 

Mar earr na grein ro n6in, 
Bha roul na mais, fo shiontaibh deas, 

A nis thug frasan m6r, 
Oir bhris na tuinn 's na tobair bhuinn : 

'S lo mulad dhruigh na neoil, 
'S e lagaich sinn, 's ar 'n-aigne tinn, 

'S gu*n ruith ar cinn le debir. 

Mu'n ribhinn kilt nan ioma gr&s. 

A choisinn grJidh an t-sl6igh, 
Mo bhcud gu brath do sgeula bais. 

An taobh ud thall do'n Ghebp, 


Ainnir ghasd' nan gorm-shuil dait, 

'S nan gruaidh air dhreach nan roe, 
'S e do chiiir fo lie a chlaoidh mo neart« 

'S a dh' fhag mi 'm feasd gun tre6ir. 

Do chorp geal, seang, mar lili ban, 

*Se 'n deis* a charadh *n srol, 
A nis a ta gach neacli fo chradh, 

'S tu 'n ciste chlar nam bord, 
A gheug nam buadh is aillidh snuadli, 

Giir mis tha truagh 's nach be6. 
Do chuimhn' air chruas, ri linn nan sluagh, 

Gnr cinnte' dh' fhuasglas deoir. 

Tha Mac-an-Toisich nan each seang, 

'S nam bratach srannmhor srdil. 
Gun aobhar g&irdeachais ach crlidh, 

Mu ghrlkdh 's nach eil i beo, 
A ribhinn shoairc a b' aillidh snnadh, 

O Ghaisteal Uaimh nan c6m. 
An gallan r^idh o cheannard treun. 

An trsloinne Mheinnich mh6ir. 


Gbeab a ghiulla 's bi gluasad air an uair 's na dean fuireach 
Thoir soiridh 'n Fhir Buaidh, dh* ionnsuidh Uachdran na Tulaich, 
Agns innis do 'm Thighearna gum bheil mi f eitheamh air cumanta 
Anns gach cas 'm bi feum air, ma theid e na mhonaidh. 

'N aile chnnnaic mi 'uair thu, 's cha V fhuathach leat gunna 
Agus mudan air uachdar, dhol a chuairteachadh monaidh. 
'S nuair a dheanadh thu stradadh air an leacain bu luimne, 
Bhiodh fuil air damh cabrach/'nvr^r a leagadh thu t-uilinn. 

Fhuair thn urram nan criochan-fl' air son iasgar, 's sealgair, 

'S mn fhuair, gur tu b' fhiach e air son do ghniomh anna an &m ud, 

Bu leat tachdair na h-amhainn, 's each 'nan luidh ga dearmad 

'S cha bhiodh miann air na mnathan o'n 's tu b' aithne a mharbhadh. 



Calpa cruinn ami an osan shiubhladh faicho agus garbhiach, 
B* • do mhiann anna an fhrith paidhir mhiol-chonua dearbta, 
*S nuair a dheanadh thu fuosgladh air a chruachan san anamoch, 
'S fada chluiiiute do langan gan cuir nan doannal air falbh uat. 

'S nuair a dheanadh thu loagadh ri 1iichd-na-Reich dearga, 
Bi thu fhein le do Spainteach ag iarraidh fath orr '0 'gan leanmhuinn, 
'S mu se *B gun dcann iad ort crasgadh leis na madaidh gan fhearr-midh, 
Caogaidh thusa 'n t-suil mhaiscach, 's air meud an aatair, bi sealg leat. 



RioH gur m6r mo chuid churam, 
'S mi bhi 'm bi^rag na Lairig 
Tha 'n t-uisge orm ar drughadh, 
'S mi fo stuchdan nan ardbheann. 
Tha 'n t-uisge, kc. 

Gu bheil mMan math craicionn 
Air Nic Ailpein ri fhasgadh, 
Gu bheil, &c, 

Gheibh mo bhrathair Nic Ailpein, 
Na 'm 'achlais 's mi cailte. 
Gheibh, &c. 

Mar ri sud 's mo bhiodag 
Laidir, lioBarna, bharachaoil, 
Mar ri sud, &c, 

Cha dirich mi brughach, 
'S cha shiubhal mi carr, 
Cha dirich, &c. 

'S cha mharbh mi fiadh tuille 
Ann an Coire, na Garbhlach. 
'S cha mharbh, &c. 




An diugh 'a m6r mo chuis iargainn, 

'S mi bhi cuimhneach nar fialachd. 

Thug nar mulad da thrian de mo threoir dhiom. 

Do na mhonadh clia teid mi, 

Bho nach fhaic mi sibh fhein ann, 

Cha dean e ach denchainn, 's bron domh. 

Cha teid mi Ohoire Ruaridh 

Bho nach tig iad ga 'm ghluasad, 

Na fir churant bhiodh a ruaig nan damh crocach. 

Bho nach faic mi a tighinn 

Luchd a thogail mo chridhe, * 

Dheanadh lamhach air sithionn na mor bheann. 

'S beag an ioghnadh mi liathadh 

Gu bheil mulad to chianail 

Bho chionn da fhichead bliadhna 's cor orm. 

Bho 'n chaidh Uilleam a null bh* uainn 

Air chuan nan tonn du-ghorm, 

Dh-fhag sud acain gam chiuireadh an comhnuidh. 

Bho nach d' thainig thu dhachaidh 
Thabhairt sgeul mar a b* ait luinn, 
'S thabhairt ruaig air fir-chabraich na m6r-bheann. 

'S n'ltm dhuit direadh nan stucan, 
'S gunna gleusda air do ghuailinn, 
Gu'm biodh pudhar air udlaich na croice. 

Bhiodh do luaidh air an giulan 

Le Nic Ailpein 'ga stiuradh, 

'S full an cridhe na spud air a mh6inteach. 

'S nuair a chruinnicheadh Sir Seumas 

A chuid ghaisgeach ri cheile, 

Fhuair thu 'n t-urram air threunaid 's air bhoichead. 


Suil ghorm mar an dearcag, 

Qruaidh dhearg mar an Corcair, 

Boul is binne, 's bland bho 'n tig orain. 

'S mor mo mhulad 's m' euslan, 

Bho 'n a dhealaich tliu fhein ruini, 

'S bho'n a thaisg iad an c^is nam bord thu. 

*S tha mo mhulad fas dubailt 
Bho'n chaidh Luthais a dh^nadh 
Ann an cisd fo'n uir 's gun deo ann. 

Na shineadh 'sa chlachan 

Far nach dean mi chaoidh fhaicinn, 

D' fhag Bud mi ouslanach bronach. 

*Sa liuthad oidhch' agus madninn, 
'Sinn gun Bgio8> us gun airsneal, 
Ann am frith nan damh bras bha sinn comhla. 

An Ccanna na Bruaich, is Coir* Ruaridh, 

Agus Dubh Qhlcannan grruamach. 

Far am fuighte fear ruadh a chinn chrocaich. 

'S n'&m dircadh na Laraig 

Cha'n fhacas riamh barr ort, 

Del a shealg a ghleann Aithfhionn nam mdr-bheann. 

'S bcir an t-soraidh so uamsa 

Qu bun Meall-a-Bhuachaill, 

Dh' fhios nan treun ghaisgich chrnaidh thun a chomhnuidh. 

Sliochd nan conspullaich gleusda, 
Mu'n do dh' aithris mi sgeula 
Our ait 's gur cibhinn leam beo iad. 

'S mor m' aiteaa bhi luaidh air 
Sibh thoirt dachaidh an dualchuis, 
Cha phrabaircan truagh na seoid ud. 

Ge b* e thairneadh nar feasaig, 

Agus fearg oirbh eiridh, 

Cha *n fhulair dha leigh bhi ga chomhnadh. 


Luchd dhireadh nft sleibhtean 

Le 'n cuilbheira gleusda 

Nach mearachdaich leuda na h-oirleach. 

'N am dhiiibh crasga nam fuar-bheann, 
'S thighinn dluth do 'n a ghreigh uallach, 
Qu 'm bicdh fuil an fhir ruaigh air a dortadh. 

'Nuair a theannadh sibh dluth air, 

'Sa chaoga sibh an t-suil ris, 

Qam bu ghoirid an nine bhiodh beo aig. 

'Nnair thaimeadh eibh an rudan 

'S a loiBgeadh am f udair, 

Bhiodh an anail a bruchdadh mar cheo as. 


Fhuaib mi naidheachd an de, bho shealgair an fheidh, 
Chuir clach eadar mi f^in 's mo bhrog, 
'S mi bhi 'n Garbh-choire Dhe, ann an aros an fheidh. 
Far an cuireamaid feum air 16n. 
'S mi an Garbh-choire, Ac. 

Troimh sneachda nan speur, seal mu 'n eireadh a ghrein 
Air mo bhreachdan ga fheileadh orm. 
Troimh sneachda, Ac. 

'Nuair theid Mac Ailpein do'n ghleann, 's nighcan 'n Tuairuear na laimh, 
Bith foil air damh seang na croice. 
Nuoir, &c. 

Dar shiubhlas Mac Caidh, le bhrod chu mor b&n, 
Agus crith air a bhraing 's e falbh. 
Dar shinbhlas, Ac. 

Gu 'm bheil mulad orm fein, nach d' rinn sinn bunn feum, 
Ghualas langan an fhcidh 'sa cheo. 
Gu'm bheil, Ac. 

'Nuair thig Mac Ailpein bho'u a blieiun, 's ua Hhuidh 'san tigh h-eitisCf 
Aig a ghillean bhiodh pighinn ri 61. 
'Nuair, Ac. 


'Nuair a thigeadh thu an Dim, far an suidheadh a chuirt, 
Chluinnear sunnd na do rum air ceol. 
'Nuair, &c. 

Bhiodh do chupachan \kn^ cuir suas deochan alainte, 
Fion dubh-fhilt bho *n Spaint gan 61. 
Bhiodh, Ac. 


Thug mi greis 'm oige an Arm Righ Deorsa, 
A mach as m' eolas am measg nan Du-Ghall ; 
Ach tha mi nia air ioirt ri goraiche, 
A siubhail mointeach 's direadh Stuc-bheann. 


Och ! mar tha mi 'b mi siubhail fiisaich. 

Us damh na craic air cur a chill rium : 

Nach bochd mo chikramh 's mi nochd gun fhardaich, 

'Us ged rach mi do 'n Airidh cha neil mo rikn ann. 

'S moch an diugh rin mi eiridh, 
Ach 's moiche dh-fheumainn mar bithinn ciiirrta, 
Se mac na h-eilde le langan eibhinn, 
'G-iarraidh cheile rinn mo dhusgadh. 

Tha mo chaileag 'dol a phosadh. 

Fear gun eolas le moran ciiinne, 

Se dh-fag mi deurach thu 'bhi ga d' eighcachd, 

Le lagh na cleire gu ceile umaidh. 

Nach cuimar comhuard mu chruiuneag bhoidheach 

A dol an ordugh gu. stol a phusidh, 

Se toil a diirdean 'rinn i an drksta, 

Na 'n rf)bh mi laimh ri cha d-rinn i 'n cumhnant. 

Ma 'se liighad m' fhoudail thug ort mo threigsinu, 
'S gun do ghabh thu brounaii, 'a gilm bi do run air, 
Bi mis' am aonar a gabhnil ornin. 
Gu cridhoal coolnihor gun bhrcSn 's gun smuairean. 

Ach 's truagh rach rubh mi 'h mo leaunan dualach, 
'Sa bhadan uaine an 'sa 'n goir an smudan, 
'Sa 'n doire luacharach 'sa 'm biodh an ruadh-bhoc, 
'S am fraoch mu'n cuairt dhuinn na dhuala du-ghorm. 



" Mo Bheitidh dhonn bhoidheach 's tu 's boidhche sa'n tir, 
Anns a chlaclian Di-dornhnuich t-'fhalt 'n ordudh an cir, 
Nuair shuidheas tu mu'm choinneamh, 'a 'n^m cromadh do chinn, 
Cha bhiodh cnimbne air a " Pbarson " le do rosg-shuilean mm. 


Bhean-an-tighe na biodh sproic ort, thoir am botul a nuas, 
IJisge-beatha math fearail 's na biodli earail ri luaidh, 
Deoch-slainte mo chaileag is math leam mu 'n cuairt, 
'T7s g^'n olainn i thairis, Ian barrach na cuaich. 

Ach tha mis air mo chnaradh, le sgeul 'chuala mi an de, 
Fear eile bhidh ga d' bhuaireadh le buaile do spreidh ; 
'Se 's fearr le do chairdibh 's cha n'e is taire leat f ein, 
'Us gar 'bu ghil' e nan rocaa gheibh fear storasach speis. 

Ach ged tha thu 'g am fhagail, o'n tha mi gun spreidh, 
'Us g^r e likigean is fearr leat 'charamh ort breid, 
Bitheas es' na shuain air a chluasag gun fheum, 
Agus mise gu h-uallach dol mun cuairt do na feidh. 

" O ghaoil na toir cluais do 'n sgeula 'chuala tu an dc, 
Cha toir mi dhuit f uath, air son buaile de spreidh ; 
Threigrinn 'm athair 's mo mhathair 's mo chairdean gu leir, 
Chuirinn cul ri fear airg'deach, 'us leanuinn sealgair an fh^idh." 

" 'Bhradag gun naire, thuirt 'mhthair 's i leum, 
An treigeadh tusa fear fardaich chumadh skbhailt thu fein, 
Aig am biodh crodh agus caorich air gach taobh do na bh^inn, 
'Us leanadh tusa fear-fuadain' bhiodh cuairtach an fhcidh." 

Ach 's truagh nach robh rai 's mo ohuachag 'n-aitc fuadain leinn fein, 
Ann an gorm ghleann am fasaich far an rJ^nadh na feidh, 
Gun fhios do ur cairdean, gun gh^bhadh, gun bh^ud; 
'Us ged thigeadh am fuachd ort, chumainn uaite e le bein. 



Aio allt an Lochan Uainc, 
Bha mi uair a thamh, 
'S ged bha 'n t-aite f oar, 
Bha 'n fhardach fuasach blath, 
Oed thigeadh gaoth 'o thaath orm 
'Us cathadh luath o*ii aird» 
Bha Allt an Lochan Uaine, 
Le' fhuaim ga m' chair gu pramh. 


Mo chaileag bhoidheach chuach-bhtiidhe, 

Na biodh ort gruaim no greann« 

Ged tha mi dol as 'm eolas 

Ma's beo dhomh thig mi ann, 

'S nuair bhios damh na croice 

Hi boilich anna a' ghleann, 

Cha d-thoirins bias do phoige 

Air stor nan Innsean thall. 

Oidhche dhomh 's mi a' m' aonar 
'S mi chomhnuidh anna a ghleann. 
Am bothan beag na'n sgor, 
Far an clninnear boilich mheann. 
Air learn fhein gun cuala mi, 
Fhar ghuth os mo cheann, 
Ag innseadh dhomh 'bhi seolta 
Gun robh an toir 'a a ghleann. 

Dh' eirich mi le buaireadh, 
'Us thog mi suas mo cheann, 
Qach paidreag 'bha mu 'n cuairt domh, 
Chuir mi mu'm ghuaillnibh teann, 
Bha " Nighean a Chornail " shuas nam, 
A choisinn buaidh 'a gach am 
Ghaoil thuirt i " na biodh gniaim ort 
Ma 'a ruaig c na bi mall." 


Shiubhail mi gach aonach, 

O Laoighe gu Carn-a-Mhaim, 

'Us bheachdaich mi gach caochan, 

Nach bitheadh daoine ann, 

Ach mu 'n d' eirich grian 's na speuraibh^ 

'S mu 'n d' fheuch i air aon bheann, 

Ohrad dh* aithnicli mi san uair ain. 

Gun robh 'm " Madadli Buadh," 's a' ghleann. 

Labhair mi le ceille, 

'Us dh' eisd mi ris gach allt. 

Mar fhreagradh iad d' a cheile, 

'Us iad gu leir gim chainnt, 

Labhair mi ri m' Uachdaran, 

'Thug uisg a* cruas nam beann ; 

Le comhnadh 'n Fhir 'chaidh cheusadh, 

Cha bhi mi fein a 'm fang. 


At the burn of Lochan Uaino 

I sheltered once from harm ; 
Although the place was cauldrife 

My shiel was wondrous warm ; 
Though down the mountain gorges 

Came wind and drifting storm, 
The burn of Lochan IJaine 

To soothe me had a charm. 


My bonnie gold-curled maid ! again 

Be blithe, show no dismay, 
For though I go beyond my ken 

I'll come another day. 
When antlered stags across the glen 

Are roaring for the fray, 
I would not give thy kisses then 

For the Indies far away. 


In the glen one night abiding. 

With bleating Idds around. 
In the rough-built little sheiling 

Mcthought I heard a sound 
That seemed to counsel caution 

As it passed along the ground. 
And warning gave that searchers 

My lone retreat had found. 

Uprose I then bewildered. 

My head remained not low. 
And all my poor belongings 

I bundled tight to go; 
O'erhead the " Colonel's daughter " • 

That vanquished every foe 
Said, " Be not thou affrighted, 

In fleeing be not slow." 

I tramped by every streamlet 

From Lui to Cam a' Mhaim, 
Well marking lest pursuers 

Might at them bide their time. 
The sun into the heavens 

Had not begun to climb ; 
I was ware of " red dogs "+ watching 

Ere it shone on peaks sublime. 

I hearkened how, all speechless. 

Burn unto biirn replied, 
And to the One who rules me 

With fitting words I cried—* 
To Him that brought the waters 

From the rocky mountain side ; 
And me, through Him that saved us, 

No evil shall betide. 

A. Gow, Rdinburgh, in "The Cairngorm 
Club Journal." 

* His rifle, referred to as the " Ciloners I).iu>?hter," as it was a present from the laird of 

t •• Red dog« "= foresters. 



Good people give heed and mark as you read. 

Let sighing be mingled with sorrow ; 
The life of frail mam is only a span. 

For none can see into the morrow. 

Eighteen hundred and four is the year we deplore; 

Highland soldiers trustworthy and steady, 
Lay in Edinburgh town of fame and renown. 

To fight for their king ever ready. 

Soon moving afar in the interests of war. 

When dearest relations must sever; 
Perhaps never more see their own native shore. 

But leaving old Scotland for ever. 

Seven men got their passes to see friends and lasses ; 

Tho' the journey was long, rough, and dreary. 
For the Dee and the Spey they all marched away. 

At home to spend Christmas so cheery. 

With courage enough they all started off, 
Tho' winds cold and biting were blowing ; 

Arriving at Perth 'midst frolic and mirth. 
The weather resulted in snowing. 

Pursuing their way by night and by day. 
Through forest and fell, cheery-hearted. 

They view from Braemar the mountains afar 
By which from their friends they were parted. 

And now to proceed was dangerous indeed. 

But love cannot linger with patience ; 
'Midst tempest and snow they decided to go. 

They must see their dearest relations. 

Fatigue they could bear and willingly share 
For a sweetheart, perhaps for a mother ; 

But snow falling fast o'erpowered them at last. 
And one yielded after another. 


John TuUoch, they ny, waa the first to give way. 

Next young DoiuUd Cameron, so clerer; 
The sleet and the snow at last laid them low, 

Bnt I hope they are blessed for ever. 

Two brothers Forsyth, both loving and blithe. 

One Bank with the cold or with frenzy ; 
Then followed the loss of brave Donald Boss, 

And the next to succumb was Mackenzie. 

While death seized the five, still two did survive 

To tell the sad tale to another ; 
Donald Elder so lythe, Alexander Forsyth, 

Who in grief helped to bury his brother. 

On hill and in glen they searched for the men, 

And each to his home then was carried ; 
In Abemethy Churchyard sad sobbing was heard 

Among friends when the bodies were buried. 

Lord-Lieutenant James Grant sent linen not scant 

For shrouds the dead bodies to cover ; 
And many long days this shall be to his praise, 

When all earthly trials are over. 

And there was a man of a neighbouring clan, 

Who, to cheer and enliven their senses. 
Sent whisky and wine, and every thing fine. 

And bore all the funeral ex2>enscs. 

Eighteen months pass'd away ere the last lad, they say. 

Was found by his friends, broken-hearted ; 
Down in a low green his red coat was seen. 

But his head from his body was parted.* 

The dead are away and mixed with the clay. 

No more on this earth will we meet them ; 
But true Christian faith is stronger than death, 

So in glory we all yet may greet them. 

* The body whn lyiii^ on a nhocp track, and the oouhtunt tMsuiug of the sheep had rutted 

off the head. 


So now to conclude this sad tale as I should. 

Let lis hold on to Christ as the centre; 
Gain Heaven by His blood, which leads ns to God, 

For none but the righteous shall enter. 

N.B.— The-abovo version is from that publUhed by Mr Stewart, Bookseller, Grantown. 


LuiNKEAO — O ! Pharruig ban, scid suas gu brais, 

*S c d' shiunsar grad chuir 's sinn air chas, 
Strann suas gacL crann, 's thoir dhuinn le bias, 
Ruidhlean nior Shra-Sp&. 

Thoir Tulach-gorm dhuinn, righ nam port, 
Na Tulaichean, 's Drochaid Pheairt, 
'S gvin danns sinn dhuit le 'r n' uile neart, 
Ruidhlean mor Shra-Spe. 

Droch shiubhal air jigs, quadrilles, and waltz, 
Tha peasanan toirt nail a France, 
Our Queen, God bless her ! likes to dance 
Ruidhlean mor Shra-Sp^. 

Faicibh nis air feur, 'b air faiche, 
Daoine 's mnathan c6r gun spraic', 
A leum, 's clapadaich am bXs 

Aig Ruidhlean mor Shra-Spe. 

Seallaibh na gillcan cridheil 6g, 

Stri ri caileagan ma 'm p&g, 

'S le aidhear leum ris a's 'm brog, 

Aig Ruidhlean mor Shra-Sp^. 

A's caileagan tha aoidheil tiath, 
Mire, m&nran, a's fala-dha, 
A's ceusadh cridhe fear na dha, 

Aig Ruidhlean mor Shra-Sp^. 

A Pharruig bitn, 's maith, maith rinn sibhs', 
'S tha sinn ro sgith, Fhir dh-orduich mise, 
Gu luath cuir cuach mu'n cuairt duinn nis. 
Do dheargan glan Shra-Spe. 


An' noo we'll break up wi' a toast, 
A's Phadruifp cuir 'b a phiob na closd. 
Hip. hip! hurrah! "Our Noble Host"— 
larla Mh6r Shra-Sp^. 

RoBKBT Grant, Rothiemoon. 


The story of this song is curious. In Aberdeen, about 1840, an Abemethy 
lady asked some of her young friends for a song to the air of " MMri bhan oig. * 
Two or three were sent to her. One was signed with seven dots, the corres- 
ponding letters being marked so as to let the name of the writer be known. 
He was called " The Knight of the Seven Dots," and afterwards rose to 
distinction in the Church. Another was that here given, which was written by 
William Forsyth, well known in future years as the editor of the " Aberdeen 
Journal,'* and the author of "Idylls and Lyrics," and other poems. Mr 
Forsyth had visited Abernethy the year before, and his heart warmed to the 

Though no son of the hills, though I wear not the plaid. 

Nor the bonnie plumed bonnet o' blue. 
In truth I do love thee, my own Highland maid. 

With a heart ever tender and true. 
Though I know not thy mountain-land music so sweet. 

Nor the tongue that thy forefathers spoke, 
Love has taught me ae lesson I'll ever repeat, 

And the words o't are Mairi bhan oig. 
Love has taught me ae lesson I'll ever repeat, 
And the words o't are Mairi bhan oig. 

Thy light foot makes music, thy voice hath a spell 

Like the pongs that the shepherd lads hear. 
Floating softly and sweet down the shadowy dell. 

Where the fairies are milking the deer. 
I read in the young flowers that loveliest be 

Some traces oi thy sunny look. 
And the birds of the greenwood seem singing of thee. 

Oh ! where is sweet Mairi bhan oig? 
And the birds of the greenwood seem singing of thee. 
Oh! where is sweet Mairi bhan oig? 


Tke rose loves the woodland, the lily the dale, 

The daffodil loves the green glade. 
Some proud sunny knowe loves the bonnio blue bell^ 

And the violet the sweet mossy shade ; 
The heath loves the hill, and the gowan the lea. 

The green ivy loves the rude rock. 
And fain would I get ae sweet flower to love me. 

Guess its name — my own Mairi bhan oig. 

And fain would I get ae sweet flower to love me, 
Guess its name — ^my own Mairi bhan oig. 

Its nae the red rose, though her lip has its hue. 

Nor the lily, less graceful than she. 
Nor the violet that lends to her een their deep blue. 
Nor ivy that trusts to the rough rock so true 

Its shelter frae every rude shock. 
'Mong the flowers in their beauty, all jewell'd with dew. 
Thou art peerless, sweet Mairi bhan oig. 

'Mong the flowers in their beauty, all jewell'd with dew. 
Thou art peerless, sweet Mairi bhan oig. 

Oh! dark this fair earth, and drear without thee, 

A place full of sorrow and toil ; 
Care flees like the sun-driven clouds frae thine e'e. 

And sadness maun melt in thy smile. 
So truly I love thee. Oh ! happy I*d be 

Though placed on some shadowless rock, 
If alone, all alone, in that desert with thee. 

With thee, my sweet Mairi bhan oig. 
If alone, all alone, in that desert with thee. 
With thee, my own Mairi bhan oig. 




The following extracts are from "Neighbours," chap, i., in "Selections 
from the Writings of the late William Forsyth/* author of "Kelavane," 
* Idylls and Lyrics." etc. Mr Forsyth was a frequent visitor at the Manse. 
Once we had a debate as to the comparative merits of collies and retrievers— my 
colley, " Fraoch," representing the former, and Mr Forsyth's " Cspsar " the 
latter. Hence the article. The Gaelic was supplied by me : — 

" ' Some togs speaks nothing but Gaelic, and some speaks nothing but 
English, and other some speaks Gaelic and English poth. But as for yonr 
hunting togs they are Sassanach to the pone, always excepting a teer hound 
here and there, and not many. Teer hounds speaks very little indeed. Bnt 
they does a great teal of hard work with their head up and their muzzle porin' 
ta wind as silent as a horse.* These remarks were made by old John Boy, my 
friond Alistcr Stewart of Tennaberie's shepherd. 

" John Roy had a famous breed of collcys. They would be priceless in these 
days when colleys have become fashionable. John's dogs had a pedigree 
nearly as old as John's own, which extended to somewhere about * Ossian's 
days,' as he was in the way of saying. 

" The race was represented, at the time I speak of, by a notable dog, 
Fraoch (heather), an honest, kindly, sombre, severe looking animal, very 
pontic and very grave. To Fraoch life was a serious thing; some dogs smile 
occasionally, if not with their face, at least with their eyes, their ears, and the 
turn of the head, but no man could say he had ever seen Fraoch smile. If yon 
made an attempt to warm him up into a sportive mood, he would look up for 
one instant with a certain sense of responsibility in his eyes, fan you gently 
with his tail out of pure politeness, and, turning his side to you, look about 
him as if counting his sheep. His whole demeanour said very clearly. Ay, ay, 
you are very good, and its all very kindly meant, but I have got other things 
to attend to. So he had, indeed his sheep were never out of his mind. He 
treated them just as his master did; and, generally speaking, seemed to 
regard his master as a sort of sleeping member of the firm, and himself as the 
managing partner. He looked for no instructions; he did not wait for any, 
but acted according to his own judgment. He might have been left to look 
after hundreds of sheep and not one of them would have been lost. 

"If John Roy had a famous breed of sheep dogs, Sandy Marr had ^ 
famous a breed of retrievers, and John and Sandy were just at that moment 
deeply engaged in a contest over the respective merits of the two breeds, the 


moBt sagacious of all the canine race. John was speaking of his dogs' 
ling^stic attainments, and was in sober earnest about their speaking two 
languages, meaning simply that the dogs knew what was said both in Gaelic 
and English. In some points John's dogs were wonderfully like their master. 
They certainly had not blue eyes, they were a soft brown-black, but there was 
the same quiet, trustful look in both. Dogs' eyes! There are, you will 
observe, a quiet, single-minded, simple, trustful, earnest, kindly kind of men 
who have dogs' eyes — ^believing eyes that never doubt, but have with all a 
latent fire in their calm depths that few would care to provoke Both master 
and dog had the same light elastic springing gait, the same handsome form, 
and, over all, that indefinable resemblance which habit and the dog's 
sympathies and distant -imitations sometimes produce between a dog and his 

" When we came near, Sandy, a square built middle-sized man, dressed in a 
very dark green tartan, took three ' draws ' of his pipe, patted his dog's head, 
and nodded acquiescence. John, whose eyes were travelling round the horizon 
from under his broad bonnet, continued — * The whole preed has poth tongues 
and all the signs and the whussels, which comes to pe four languages, least- 
ways the father of her had very goot Gaelic, and a great deal of it, put no 
English to speak o'. Put poth came the same to the moder— «o that explains 
a goot teal. An' as for the whussels and the signs, I tont think there is no 
creature half so clever as a goot colley tog. She is a shepherd by nature 
though she had never seen a tuft of woo', she would take her place at the head 
of the first flock she came to and guide them to g^een pasture, and take care o' 
them, and count them ofer an' ofer.' 

" ' John's coUeys are famous dogs, I'll never deny that, but a colley is no 
the clever cevilised dog that a true retriever is.' 

'"A true retriever! Och, an' what might she be?' said John, somewhat 
contemptuously. 'A cross, Sandy, a pit mere mechanical tog, made out of 
three other togs, an' maype four. No, no, Sandy Marr, my poy, the coney's 
ta pure tog an' ta only pure tog, and the ten times purest of all togs— «ome 
down from all antiquity without no cross or change. I tare say king Tavid 
had his coUeys when he keepit his father Jesse's sheep in the plains of 
Bethlehem, an' a goot breed of togs too, I mak na doubt, though teil a petter 
nor Fraoch, Tavid though he was.' 

" ' The best thing will be to try your dogs,' said I. ' I know the qualities 
of Sandy's dog and all the breed. I have one of them that goes by the same 
name-— a dog so honest as to be incapable of dishonesty. But John's dogs I 
only know by their character and their look, and both these are beyond 



" * Go on, John Roy/ said Alister Stewart to his shepherd. * the sheep are 
well scattered for Hhowing how the hitch works.' 

"The sheep were wnittered over the area of a mile square, and John at 
once sent his coUey to move them. 

"'Fcuch. Frm>ch, f euch ' (see, Fraoch, «eo), said John, pointing to the 
furthest sheep. 

"Fraoch looked in the direction indicated, and then sideways up to his 
master's face, asking more definite instructions. 

* ' Mach rompa ' (out before them), said John, and away went the dog. 
taking a circuit so as not to diflturb the body of fhe flock, and, getting ahead 
of them, sat down facing us. 

"'As sin leo' (out of that with them), shouted John. I thought Fraoch 
out of hearing, but she rose and wore round the stragglers rather hurriedly 
towards the body of the flock. 

" ' Air tathais ' (gently, more slowly), shouted John, and Fraoch held back 
at once, seeming to let his charge go at their leisure. 

" ' Stad * (stop), cried John, and the d()g paused. * Gle mhaith * (very well), 
said the shepherd, and the dog once more sat down on his haunches, in an 
attitude of vigilance — indeed he always sat when he could with his attention 
divided between his master and his charge, never for a moment afraid of 

"'We'll be trying the tistant signals now,' said John, moving northward 
along the face of the hill. We accompanied him, while Fraoch sat still like 
a flecked stone on the opposite brae face. John, putting the tips of his fore 
and third fingers to his lips and the tip of his tongue between them, gave a 
shrill, piercing whistle, at which the dog rose to attention ; he then sounded a 
series of modulated notes, like military bugle calls, all of which the dog 
obeyed when made more distinct by signs with the crook and an occasional 
stamp of the foot. 

"'Now she'll be taking them all over the hill side to rest, you see,' said 
John. With that he sounded a few notes like the bugle-call for skirmishers 
to extend to the left — supplementing the whistled orders by sweeps with his 
crook — at oucc Fraoch took a circuit to westward, giving mouth at short 
intervals like orders, and in the space of two minutes the flock were taking 
ground in close order to the right — ^tho flock once fairly on the move, Fraoch 
kept them moHng, every now and then giving a glance towards her master. 

" Another whistle as a caution, and another bugle call given by the shep- 
herd on his fingers, and Fraoch halted her flock, and was once more seated on 
her haunches in a commanding position. 

" We then went back to the hut to be within ear-shot. 

" ' Air aghart ' (go on), shouted John, and Fraoch was at once on her feet 
urging her flock still eastward. 


" ' 'Naire, Fraoch, 'naire ' (take care, Fraoch, take care), laid the skepherd. 
But Fraoch did not know what he meant, she looked about, went up and down 
to see that none were behind, then stood gazing towards us waiting for more 
explicit instructions. 

"'Cuir rompa' (put before them), shouted John, and once more Fraoch 
stretched out ahead, and round to their front. 

" ' Thoir leat iad, Fraoch ; dhachaidh leo ' (bring them with you, Fraoch ; 
home with them). 

" And without more ado the intelligent creature was running hither and 
thither, barking and driving the whole flock before her. Indeed the move- 
ments were like the inspection of troops. Fraoch had complete command of 
the flock, and the shepherd, as reviewing officer, had complete command of 

" ' Now, will that be enough, think ye,' said John, and on our expressing 
our perfect satisfaction, he stopped Fraoch on the way. He called out, 'Gle 
mhaith, Fraoch, stad! Stigh gu mo choise' (very well, Fraoch, stop! In zo 
my foot), and the order was no sooner given than Fraoch, looking round the 
flock to see that they were all right, came trotting down the hill and through 
the hollow, and sat down at John's foot with an eye on her distant charge. 

"'Gle mhaith, Fraoch (well done, Fraoch), good lass,' said John, and as 
Fraoch looked up with a pensive gratification in her mild, melancholy eyes, 
John handed her a crust of bread, which was no doubt welcome. 

"'Now, Sandy, said I, 'are you satisfied of Fraoch's abilities? Let's see 
how near Caesar can come to her.' 

"'Oh, it's beautiful to see a coUey at work. Ye may amaist say that 
Fraoch has four tongues — Gaelic, English, the whussel, and the crook. But 
John, ye see, stands there like a great semaphore signal post, wi' the crook for 
his signal airm, on the hill side, and the field o' vision is open, and the dog 
has his daily duty clear, and the instinct comes down from the Bible days as 
John tells us. But look ye noo to Caesar. It's a' very weel for them as hae 
choice o* dogs to quarter their pointers and keep their retriever at heel. But 
this puir dog o' mine does a' my wark, be it on a turnip field or a heather muir 
or a Highlan' tarn, or for rough shooting in wast country swamp. He has a 
setter's nose and a smooth English pointer's strength, an' a' his ain intelli- 
gence, docility, an' sweetness o' temper. He has na the 'point' by descent, 
yc see, but he learn't it in a week's time, and when he hears a neighbour 
pointer barks wi' the best. He had a prood way wi' him frae the first, an* 
winded a' his game like a deer hound, never ralrin' for a fool scent.' 

" ' Noo ye see the Point in a dog is a marvel. It mair than equals ony feat 
o' Franrh'R. It is the balance between instinct and duty. Te micht preach a 
gweed practical discoorse vera fit for a Highlan* poopit on the pointer's 


pointin', or the Better's settin', or the barkin' o* either. I canna say when 
iiushin' dogs were firbi tiiiight to ' set ' at their game for their master instead 
of spriugiiig at it for themselves. It w-^s first the setters when fowlers used 
a net. The point is a dog caught on the spring at his game, and a' his 
faculties turned to his master's service at the sacrifice o' his ain pleasure. A 
true sportsman cares far, oh, very far less for the killin' o' his birds than the 
workin' o' his dogs. A pointer kens as well as you do yerseV when you shoot 
his bird, and is pleased — nay even when you fire at it an' iniss he is pleased; 
an' away he goes beatin' up the wind, loavin* to the retriever to search oot the 
game an' bring it home. \Vi' flushin* dogs the point has become an instinct, 
or the elements o* an instinct. It is not merely art engrafted on nature, but H 
is art transfused into nature, sae to speak. But this puir doggie o' mine had 
nae sic preparative for his education. It is his instinct to fetch and cany, 
but a few days with a check cord and a scent bag taught him to point as stiff 
as a wooden figure, and draw his game like a dog of six years' experience. 
The 'point' is a moral spectacle — ^ay, it is so, it's the fair balance between 
passion and represHion, and the dog becomes catalyptic till his master raises 
the game. Uis nature is to flush the birds an' seize ane o' them at a spring, 
but his education tells him to leave the capture to his master, and when the 
birds are brought down he kens the purpose is served, and the pointer begins 
ranging again. But my dog first quietly picks up the bird, brings it in, and 
then begins ranging. Ay, ay, it would be a fine thing if we could all learn to 
point and not to flush — a fine thing for ae body an' a' body — ^but flush we will 
oot o' that selfishness, conceit, and self-will that a higher nature than his own 
has conquered in the dog. True, Cs^sar has had to learn to point and to 
retrieve as well, and he does many a harder day's wark than me, and is content 
to sleep wi' little supper sometimes aneath the half o' my coat on a hill side, 
when we lie as close as we can to keep ane anither warm.' 

" ' Ye speaJk o' count in',' continued Sandy, warming on a favourite subject; 
'weel here's ane, twa, three — here's seven shillings. See, Ciesar, my gude 
lad. Now will ye just put on my glive, John, an' scatter the siller as wide an* 
far as you can amo' the heather wi' thae wind-mill airms o' yours, an' nae let 
the dog see you.' 

" John did as he was bid, going away a little distance and sowing the coins 
broadcast with Sandy's glove on his hand. 

" ' Seek, seek, CsRar, seek,' cried Sandy, and away went the dog to find the 
money. He soon brought in one piece and then another, but on advancing a 
little further he halted at the point, having scented game ahead. 

" ' Hie on,' cried Sandy. 

"The dog did as he was bid, and up sprang a brace of grouse. Caesar 
looked back, and seemed inclined to spring at the birds. 


*' * Ware chase/ shouted Sandy, ' seek, boy, seek.' 

" The dog did so, and in a few minutes had the seven shillings laid down at 
Sandy's foot. 

" ' Now,' said Sandy, * that dog has as many virtues as wad set some folk 
up in a fair way to saintship. I dare say ye ken that I hoe my temptations 
where game is concerned, and have been afore twa or three justices i' my time 
— "Whafs bred i' the marrow ye canna tak' oot o* the bane" — and while I 
submit to the first man that ca's me by name on challenging me to stand, I'll 
raturally keep oot o' sicht an I can. Sae Caesar an' I hae had to hide wi' little 
to hide us and wi' half-a-dozen keepers beatin* roon an' roon for us. He kens 
what he's doin' at sic times, an' lies close an' silent. I hae been wae for him 
when we had baith to lie in a moss pot, wi' oor noses side by side, barely 
aboon the water for breath, at the back o' a rashen buss, till the keepers were 
tired o' searchin'. Puir beastie, he an' I hae wearied twa or three o' them 
oot aft'ner nor ancc, an' syne risen an' shaken oorsel's an gaen awa hame, or 
maybe lain doon to sleep in oor wet coats in a safe place. I hae ken'd dogs o' 
his breed do remarkable things. I mind the Duke o' Leeds, when he lived at 
Huntly Lodge, in the last Duke o* Gordon's time, had a dog they ca'd Turk — 
the great-great-grandfather o' Caesar there. When his Grace wis fishin' sax 
or seven miles up the Deveron he wad send Turk hame for his sheltie, and the 
twa came trotting up the water together, the dog leadin' the pony by the rein. 
It was said he sometimes wanted to mount him, but the sheltie wadna hear o' 
that. Weel, Turk kent the way to open a'most ilka door in Huntly, an' 
geed frae hoose to hoose to get what wis gain' when the Duke was frae hame. 
Ae nicht the Duke had left his gloves somewhere on the moors where he had 
been shooting, and sent Turk back for them frae the lodge. The Duke had 
gone over thirty miles o' ground that day, and the puir dog came back at 
breakfast time neest momin' wi* the gloves an' a bit flaskie that had been left 
the week before on the moor. Poor Turk — ^his master left Huntly Lodge for 
Kincardineshire soon after, and when the dog died he was buried like a 
Christian in the Kirkyard o' Dunnottar — so they say, and they say he got a 
head-stone wi' an inscription — ^but I doubt that.' 

" Sandy was eloquent on the merits of the dogs that he had known, and 
when Alistcr Stewart and I left the two friends they were deep in a profound 
discussion on the immortality of doga, the spirit, whatever it may be. Sandy 
had no doubt about the matter, but John Boy was an elder in the kirk, and 
could not give direct countenance to such doctrines. But he went the length 
of saying that it would be a comfort to him if he could hope to meet his old 
coUeys again in a better world, where creation groans and travails no more, 
' for,' he said, ' he had mair affection for these puir beasts than he could weel 



" Alas, the fate of one of tlie two men was thoroughly linked with his poor 
dog, even to the end. John Roy is still an elder of the kirk, and has a fine 
flock of his own, but hiu collcy saved him one winter night from perishing with 
some of his sheep in the snow. Sandy Marr was an example of a noble nature 
turned away by never learning the lesson which his dog taught in his * point.' 
He never found that nice balance between impulse and repression, which, in 
his eyes, made the work of the pointer dog a lesson to mankind. He was a 
Bohemian to the end ; and one morning in the end of the shooting season, 
many years ago, he waA found stark and cold, with his poor dog licking his 
face, and howling pitcously over him. His old tartan coat was lying beside 
him. He had taken it off to wrap about his companion, as he had done on 
many a cold night bcftiro to keep the poor dog warm. He who cared for 
neither cold nor wet, nor pain nor hunger, had, on that cold night, thought 
more of his dog than of himself; and the wail of the poor animal on that loDe 
morning over hiR dead master brought some wayfarer to the spot where he lay. 
Alas ! poor Sandy." 



Bnilio John Stewart was of the family of Kinchardine. He was the son 
of Alexander, son of Robert Oig, who married a daughter of Ang^us William- 
^o^, as noted in chapter XIX. Alexander settled in Inverness, and his 
son, John, continued his biLsinoKs there as a merchant. The following notes 
are from a paper read by Mr William Mackay, solicitor, Inverness, to the 
Gaelic Society 0*^^-^^): — 

*' The BaiH(>'H bunincHM hook, so far as preserved, begins 1715, when he is 
carrying on buHinoss in Inverness on a large scale, and in correspondence with 
London and tlio other principal cities in Great Britain, as well as with tho 
principal portR on the Continent. On 8th Sept.. 1749, he writes that he is 73 
years of nrro ; he was therefore horn pnihably in 1G76. In 1715 he was married 
to his second wife— < lniHti;ni, dauj^hter of Maeleod of Drynoeh, and a niece 
of Maeleod of !Vrafleti<l--an(l had a larpfe family. lie hefjan business beff»r<* 
the close of the 17th eent'iiy, for in June, 1718, he refers to a bill transactio)! 
entered into by him * 20 years ago, or at least 18.* lie was lirst elected a 
Town Councillor on 20th Se])t., 17(«. and was made a Ihulie uu 22ud Sept., 


° « 

1713, aud Dean of Guild in September, 1715. He appears on the town's 
records for the last time on 6th September, 1716. His letter-book shows thai 
he continued trading till 1752 — perhaps later — for the last letter-book is 
imperfect. The business he conducted was, as has been said, very extensive ; 
nothing, in fact, seems to have come amiss. He bought corn and sent it to 
London, Newcastle, and the Continent; meal to the West Coast, from 
Sutherland to Ardnamurchan; salmon, herring,, codfish, and pickled beef to 
London, Cork, the Baltic ports, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, and to the 
Mediterranean ports as far as Leghorn; Ballachulish slates he sent to 
England, and lead from Glenelg to the Continent. He imported wines, 
spices, iron, salt, clothes, timber, barrel staves, onions, sugar, tea, brandy, 
tobacco, irdigc), household goods of all kinds, bricks from London, coals from 
Newcastle. He was also an extensive shipowner. The names of some of the 
vessels of which he was owner or part owner were : — The Good Success, the 
Alexander, after his father; the John, alter himself; the Christian, after his 
second wife; the Helen, the Margaret, the Marjorie, and the Janet. The 
Christian, the ship of his old age, having been seized for debt at Leith, he 
terms * The poor Christian.* 

"There was then no bank in Inverness, consequently we find that bills — 
bills by Highland and Lowland merchants, and Highland chiefs and lairds — 
went to all parts of the kingdom in payment of the Bailie's obligations, and 
even to the Continent. Each merchant was a kind of bill discounter. Among 
the Bailie's correspondents was Provost Coutts of Edinburgh, whose son 
started banking in London as Coutts & Co., and his brother's firm, Marjori- 
banks & Coutts, merchants, Dantzick. It was in the form of bills that 
money was generally remitted, but it was sometimes forwarded in notes and 
specie. For example, on 18th February, 1718, he sends an express, i.e. special 
messenger, to Banff with the following in payment of balance of price of a 
cargo of meal sent to the West Coast: — * A bank note for £5 ster,, 67 guineas 
[gold], 5 shillings in silver, and 2 2-3d in copper, sealed in a little purse, all 
sterling money £75 12b 2 2-3d.' In June of the same year he sends the fol- 
lowing money to Lord Moray in Edinburgh by express, i.e. special messenger : 
— ' In gold, J£157 stg., all in guineas and half guineas except 5 Luidores.' 
His remittances were sometimes sent in carefully sealed bags by the posts, 
who then walked all the way to Edinburgh. 

" Stewart acted for many years as fiu-tor for Lord Moray, and in that 
capacity collected the rent, which was, as a rule, paid In grain; sold the 
grain, and sent the proceeds south. This gave him much trouble, and 
considering that the salary was only 200 merks — about JBll 28 3d — one is not 
surprised to find him complaining of the duties, and the remuneration there- 
for. The Earl was a man of mercantile instincts, and somewhat exacting, 


and it was sometimes difficult to recover the rents and dues, especially after 
the troubles of 1715. On 2l8t April, 1716, Stewart wrote his cousin, John 
Stuart, Commissary of Inverness, and the Earl's agent in Edinburgh, thus: — 
* I think the Earle should give down to his tennants of Pettie a year's custom 
money, which is no great matter, in consideration of their losses which they 
will not recover on hcast, and I wish you'd advise this. I long for the return 
of our express to know further of our Porteus roll affair/ Part of his duty 
as representing one of the heritors was to see the law carried out as to 
planting of churches, and as a loyal Episcopalian he did not like this. Mr 
Alexander Denoon, the Episcopalian minister of Petty at the Bevolution, 
continued after that event until 1706, when he was deposed for swearing, 
drunkenness, and other faults. lie ignored the sentence and stuck to his 
church until he died of cough, asthma, and heartache, in 1719. Between 
1706 and his death, there was much litigation — and the sympathies of John 
Stewart, the factor, and John Stewart, the Commissary, were evidently with 
him. In 1716 the Bailie complains of the ' verie small wages ' he has from the 
Earl, and on 26th July, 1717, he threatens to resign if he does not get 'better 
conditions — having just spent 8 days at Castle Stewart on the Earl's affairs.* 
lie, however, continued to act as factor, and I cannot trace when he resigned. 
" Stewart's letters show that the chiefs and lairds of the north were not at 
all above business. On the contrary, they were much engaged in buyin gand 
selling, and Stewart did much business with them. He bought corn and meal 
from the Earl of Moray, the Earl of Findlater, Lord Banff, Lord Deskford, 
the Earl of CaithneBs, and others, and sold the corn in London and the 
Continent, and sent the meal as a rule to Gairloch, the Isle of Skye, Glenelg, 
Strontian, and Fort-William. In the Highlands he did business with Sir 
Robert Pollock, Governor of Fort-William, and his son, Walter Pollock, who 
carried on business as a merchant at the Fort, with the Laird of Gairloch, the 

Laird of Cadboll, Macleod of Macleod, Macleod of Drynoch, Sir Mac- 

donald of Sleat. Macdonald of Kinlochmoydart ; Barisdale; The Mackintosh, 
Lord Reay, I^)rd Strathnaver, Lord Seaforth, and others. Tliesc paid always 
by bill, and frequently they floated about among Stewart's creditors, unpaid 
for many years. As a rule, bills by Highland lairds were made payable A 
Crieff market, whither they went with great droves of cattle. Sometimes the 
Bailie attended the market for the purpose of collecting his debt. A bill by 
The Mackintosh to him for £15 was protested in 1716 for non-payment, and 
the obligation was unpaid as late as 1738 — after The Mackintosh's death. 
We also find long standing obligations by the Laird of Culloden; the Lady 
Lochiel ; Macleod of Drynoch ; the Laird of Mackinnon ; Lord Strathnaver : 
the Laird of Cadboll ; Macgillivray of Dalcrombie ; and the Bailie's good 
cousin. Colonel John Roy Stuart. John Boy's bill was for £'17 148, and was 


granted probably in 1736, when he escaped from Inverness prison. It was 
still unpaid when that hero was fighting for Prince Charlie in 1745-46. In 
November, 1743, Roy was living at Buloigne, and the Bailie wrote him two 
letters asking him so send him brandy in part payment. The brandy never 
came, and the probability is that the bill was still unpaid when on 4th 
November, 1749, a reference to * his cousin, John Roy's widow, at Buloigne,' 
shows that the soldier bard was no more. 

" The salmon which he sent abroad was purchased from Lord Newry, Lord 
Lovat, Lord Seaforth (Loch Duich), and various proprietors on the West 
Coast. As a rule the fish was cured by the lairds. On one occasion the 
Bailie, in company with his brother-in-law, leased the salmon fishings of 
Loch Duich, and lost by the adventure. He granted bills to Seaforth for the 
rent, which were for years unpaid, and at last Seaforth arrested a large 
quantity of cured salmon in Eintail, which ensured a settlement. The 
herrings were principally purchased from the Laird of CouU, proprietor of 
lands in Lochbroom (who caught and cured them), and from the Laird of 
Gairloch ; while the Beauly Firth also yielded a supply. Large quantities of 
cod were at this time sent from Gairloch to the Continent. Barrels for all 
sorts of fish were furnished by the Bailie and his partners, who brought 
cargoes of staves from Norway and other parts of the Continent. But not- 
withstanding an extensive trade for upwards of 60 years, the Bailie never 
made money, and was in great poverty before the end of his life. Numerous 
heartrending appeals to children and friends appear in his letter-book. In 
1741 he was in great difficulties, being sued by various people, including the 
man in Edinburgh who sent him his newspaper, and his wigmaker. In 
December, 1741, he was charged with a homing, and caption threatened. In 
reference to this he writes that he can't possibly pay, ' was I to be hang'd as 
well as imprisoned. Still, I care not to go to a stinking gaol at this time of 
year in my old days.' Again, on 29th January, 1742 — ^'AU the diligence ^n 
Scotland cannot squeeze money out of me at present.* In July, 1743, he is 
' prodigiously straited ' for pressing demands, and for the maintenance of his 
family. In August he is due four people, and dunned to death. In 1749 
' swarms of small creditors on his back.' He was a Jacobite, but, so far as tho 
letters show, ho took no part in the Risings of 1715 and 1745." 






Nam EM. 


Plackb op Rgsioence. 


Robert Ltwwm 

.. Captain 



Alex. Carznichael 

Lieutenant ... 



John Dunbar... 




Nathaniel Grant 

.. Qr.-Mr.Sci^... 



DuncHQ Grant 

.. Sergeant 



Paul Stewart 




Peter Stewart 




Ji»hn Gnint 




William Grant 

,. Corporal 



Alex. Murray 




Norman Meldrum ... 




Gregor Burge«i 




John Murray 


Davoch ok Coxgash. 


Peter Stuart 

.. Piivate 



James Grant 


Mains of Congaah. 


James Findlay 




Archil vild Grant 


Mains of Congaah. 


DimaUl Anderson 



Grigor Grant 




Grij^or Grant . 


Mains of Congaah 


John Gi-ant ... 




Allan Grant 


Davcx-h of Glbxlocht. 


•Duncan DunWr 

,. Private 



* James Dunlwr 




*John Macdou.iUl 


Davoch op Achxago^i 



Alex. Gniut 

.. Piivate 



l><>iiald ( 




Duiiald Grant 




Donald Maod..Mald ... 




Peter Grant .. 




Alex. Grant 




Janioj^ <tmnt 



' .%t n >Ci^*t 

h'»tA«.H' fn'tii thv |»1ho 

-^ ..f .irill 







Places of Residence. 


Duncan Grant 

... Private 

... Lantichen. 


♦William Grant 





... Lagandow. 


James Macphcraon . . . 


... Tojeraie. 

Davoch of Drum. 


Alex. Burges 

... Private 

. . . DrunL 


Alex. Macbain 

... Do. 

... Dell. 


Robert Grant 

... Do. 

... Do. 


Robert Grai.t 


... Drum. 


Donald Fraser 


... Ballintuim. 


Duncan Camen»n 


... Muckerach. 


James Camei on 




James Grant 


... Elian. 


tDonald Stuart 


... Stranchamnerrich. 


t James Macpherbon ... 

^ Do. 

... Litteratm. 


tWilliam Stuart 


... Knockamachemie. 


Davoch or Ballifurth. 


John Grant 

... Private 

.. Auchemich. 


Peter Grant 




Alex. Riach 




Alex. Grant 




Charles Symon 


... Ballifurth. 


Thomas Grant 




Peter Grant 


... Boat of Ballifurth. 


Thomas Stewart 


... Polliechristian. 


Alex Maclauchlan ... 


.. Ballifurth. 


JPeter Mackintosh ... 


... Backucham. 


Peter Macpherton . . . 


... Boat of Ballifurth. 
Davoch of LsTfOCH. 


J<»hn Robertsrm 

... Private 

... Lettoch. 


James Murray 




Alex. Oruickshank .. 




James Macdousld . . . 


... Sawmill. 


Allan Grant 


... Dell. 


John RoberUon 


... DeU. 


William Robertson ... 


... Sawmill. 


WmUm Robertson ... 




Duncan Macpherson . . 



§James Roy Smith ... 


... • Do. 


Kwcn Cameron 




Peter Stuart 




John Grant 


... Conage. 


Donald Grant 




Dun. Robertson 


... Conichulie. 

* William Graut has a deformity in ono of hia legs. 

t At a great distance from the plaoes of drilL 

) To be ezcliaBged lor James Wilson, servant in Ballifurth. 

I Did not appear. 






Placxs or Residcsce. 


Peter Grant 

... Private 

... Corrichulie. 


•Alex. MactlonaM ... 




John Itobertnon 


... Plota. 


Jamea Murray 


... Croftmaquain. 


Janiea Nairn ... 


... Garliue. 


Malcolm Frai*er 




Angus Grant 


... Sawmill. 


John Grant 





Donald Forben 

... Private 

... Ballimore. 


Donald Cameron 


... Do. 


James Cruickehank ... 




Malcolm M'Grigor ... 




Alex. Cruickshauk ... 




Jame* Findlay 




Donald Grant 


... Culriach. 


IXmald Gonlon 




tPeter Grant .. 


... Manee. 


Alexander Robertson 



John Allan 


... Do. 


Chat. Cameron 

.. Do 

... Do. 





Placu or RniDBKCE. 


James Grant 

John Grant 

John Grant 

... Captain 

... Lieutenant ... 

... Ensign 






Ronald Macgrigor ... 

Chas. Grant 

Chas. Grant 

William Grant 
Alex. Cameron 
John Smith 

.. Dr. -Sergeant .. 
... Qr..Mr..Sergt. 
... Sergeant 











IjQwin Smith 

Donald Stewart 
William Blair 
John Clarke . 

... Corjwral 



Charles Francr 
William Fra«er 
William Gordon 
Levvis Gordon 
James Grant (1) 
Alex. Grant .« 

... Privafe 



... Do. 


Boat of Gartenmore. 



• A MilitUman. 

t At a distance from the 

) places of drllL 







Murdoch Macgillivray 

.. Private 


William Meldnim ... 



Duncan Ross (Ij 



Jamee Cameron (1) ... 



John Blair 



John Cameron 



Duncan Cameron 



Alexander Cameron (1) 



William Tulloch 



Alex. Tip 



Duncan Roas (2) 



James Grant (2) 



Donald Cameron 



Jamee Cameron (2) . . 



John Rattray 



Peter Frascr (1) 



John Grant (1) 



Grigor Grant 
William Grant (1) ... 





William Grant (2) ... 



Symon Grant 



Nathaniel Cameron ... 



Ewen Smith 



Donald Grant 



Donald Fraser 



James Fraser.. 



James Grant 



Thomas Fraser 



Peter Fraser (2) 



WUliam Fraser (2) ... 






WUliam R08S 



Alex. Fraser (1) 



Peter Stuart (1) 



James Grant (4) 



William Grant (3) ... 



William Grant (4) ... 



Murdoch BCacpherson 



James Taylor 



Andrew Macpherson 



Alex. Meldrum 



Alex. Fraser (2) 



Donald Mackintosh ... 



Malcolm Grant 



John Grant (2) 



John Grant (3) 



James Grant (5) 



William Forsyth ... 



Robert Grant 



John Maclauchlan . . . 



Alex. Gumming 



James Macpherson ... 

... Do. 

Places of Bksidknte 
Mains of Tulloch. 


Bridge End of Nethv. 








Charles Hay 

... Private 

... Ryinloit. 


John WaUon 


... Ballagowan. 


John Fi*a8er 


... Clachaig. 


Jainea Grant (6) 




William Cruickshank 




John CruickHluuik 




William Frasor (8) .. 




John Andenon 




James Anderson (1) .. 




Archibald Macphereon 








James Uillie8 


... Do. 


Alex. Cameron 


... Lurgg. 


Peter Grant 


... Do. 


Symon Fraser 




James AlUn 




James Cameron (3) .. 




Alex. Anderson 


... Inchtomach. 


James Anderson (2) .. 




James Grant (4) 


. . . Boughlehaynack. 


Peter Stuart (2) 


... Tonchirie. 


Angus Macbain 


... SawmiUer. 

(Signed) RONO. Macqreoor, Drill Sergt, 
17th Sept., 1798. 




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In the moral statistics published by the "Inverneas Society," 1826, the following 
is reported em to Abernethy :— Population in 1821, 1908; families, 412; in 1824, 
1909 ; families, 395. Under 8 years of age, 406 ; above, 1508 ; above 8 years who 
can read, 1146 ; from 8 to 20 years who cannot read, 100 ; above 20 years who cannot 
read, 257. Families in which no {)erson can read, 59 ; families in whioh one or more 
can reatl, 336. Holy Scriptures in use— Bibles, 650 ; Testaments, 173. Families 
having Bibles, 326 ; families without Bibles, 69. A Strathspey Auxiliary Bible 
Society was instituted in 1815. From the fourth report, submitted to a meeting 
held at Grantown, 4th September, 1821, it appears that Colonel Grant of Grant, 
M.P., was the Patron ; the Rev. Donald Martin, Abernethy, President ; Mr William 
Mackenzie, Treasurer ; and Messrs Lachlan Mackintosh, Grantown, and Peter Grant, 
Congash, Secretkries. The entire sum collected from the beginning was £118 14s, of 
which a certain amount was expended annually in the distribution of Bibles and New 
Testaments in the district. In 1 836 the Religious Association of the Presbytery of 
Abernethy was established. Its object was the ** Promoting Religious Knowledge in 
conformity with the Standards of the Established Church of Scotland." The report 
of the proceedings, 1839, shows that £57 lOs lOd liad been collected. Of the Aber- 
nethy Branch, Rev. Mi Martin was President, and Mr Wm. Forsyth, Dell, Secretary and 
Treasurer. From the minute of a meeting of the parishioners held in the church on 
the 25th April, 1837, it appears that £9 13s had been collected, and that 150 copies 
of the Holy Scriptures— 110 in Gaelic and 40 in English, had been obtained for 
diiitribution in the parish. There U no record of the proceedings subitequentto 1839. 
The failure of the crops for the three previous years, and the great distress had, as 
stated in the Presbytery's report, "compelled a suspension of operations for the 

Note as to Population.— In year 1801, pop. 1769 ; 1811, p. 1709 ; 1821, p. 
1968 ; 1831 , p. 2092. This was the highest known. Since then there has been almost 
a steady decrease. Year 1841, p. 1920 ; 1851, p. 1871 ; 1861, p. 1928. This 
temporary rise was owing to the railway works. Year 1871, p. 1752 ; 1881, p. 1530 ; 
1891, p. 1354. In the last 30 years there has been a decrease of 574, and this decrease 
would have been greater but for the rise of the village at Nethy-Bridge. The chief 
reasons for this decrease seem to have been — 1. Emigration to the colonies and 
towns ; 2. Foresting— Qlenmore, in which from 12 to 15 families resided, was turned 
into a sheep-run, and subsequently into a deer forest ; the forest of Abernethy wa^ 
established in 1869 ; 3. Indusiricd and Soeud Chaftges as to the wood manufacture 
and the removal of crofters and cottArs. The change as to cottars is ipecially marked 
ip such farms or districts as Acheruock, Rothiemoon, Garliu, Elaneoim. 




John StUArt was bom at Leanchoil (or liCnachyle) in 1767. He was the son of 
Donald Stuart of Leanchoil and of his s|K>use Janet Grant, daughter of Robert Grant 
of Wester Lethendry, in the Parish of Cromdale. At an early age he got a com- 
mission in the Royal Engineers, but as two of his uncles were partners of the North- 
West Company — then the largest fur -trading corporation of Canada — he was induced 
to enter the service of that Company, and with that view proceeded to British North 
America. He was a man of much intelligence, great firmness of character, and 
indomitable ])eraeverauce, and for upwards of 40 years was connected with that 
Comjiany and with the Hudson's Bay Company, with which it coalesced in 1821. 
He was one of the principal partners of the North -West Company, and in 1821 
l>ecame a Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company. Tliroughout the whole of hb 
residence in North America he was most actively engaged, having been in change of 
several districts from the Pacific Coast to Hudsr)n*d Bay. In 1808 he a-companied 
Simon Fraser (whose name he gave to that river) down FnacT*B River almost to the 
Pacific. He subsequently surveyed the river to its mouth, making a chart of it, 
which is given in the very interesting work " Manuscript Journals of Aleiander 
Henry, 1799 to 1814," e<lited by V>v Elliot Couse, and published in 1897. Stuart'n 
Lake and Stuart's River, m New Caledonia, now a portion of British Columbia, are 
named after him, and also Stuart or Stewart River in the Yukon. Mr Stuart 
retired from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1839, and died at Springfield, Moray- 
shire, on the 14th January, 1847. Not a little of the success of the North- Weet 
(^omi>any was due to his energy and unceasing efforts. He was a man of much 
generosity of character and unbounded hospitality, and was greatly respected by all 
his friends both while actively engaged in North America, and when he retired to 
his native country. He married while in America, and had two sons, Donald and 
John, who both died comparatively yuung, the former having been a Lieutenant in 
Her Majesty's 78th Regiment of Highlanders, and one of those who took part in the 
Crimean war. 

Mr John Stuart's brother, Robert Stuart, was also a partner of the North-West 
Company, and one who doubtless, but for his early death, would have made a fore- 
most place for himself in that Coriwration. The Ht4iry of his heroic death is ^>ld iu 
Chapter xxxii. p. 243. 




Aarou Hill, 193, 20U, 203, 303, 365, 

Abair, Aber, 22 
Abernethy — Botany, 16; Boundary, 

1; Golden Groves, 198; Natural 

History, 7; Rental (1818) 431, 

(1898-9) 3a3 
Ach, Achadh, 30 
Achernack, Family of, 84 
A Cry from C'raigellachie (Shairp), 

A Day on Cairngorm, 263 
Advertisement referring to Game, 

A Highland Laird of the Olden 

Time, 350 
Aird Man's Prayer, 180 
Alaiu-uam-Foide, 56 
All the Year Round, 306 
Alpine Flora, 17 

Alt an Lochain Uaine (Oran), 408 
Am Baile Ur — Gran town, 344 
An Gamhainn Cirinn, 219 
Animals extinct, 7; rare, 13 
An Inverness Merchant of the Olden 

Time, 422 
An Leanabh Ileach, 41, 377 
An Tuarnear Cam, 80 
Argyle and Montrose, 153 
Arnold's "Light of Asia," 59 
Aubrey's " Hermetick Philosophy," 

Avon, Loch, 273 

Badger, 9 
Balmcrino, 183 
" Baidse," 353 
Baptism Bowl, 341 
Baptisms, 309 
Barbara's Cairn, 278 
Barbara, Saint, 61 

Bards, 282 

Barns of Bynack, 274 

Baron Bailies, 138 

Barony of Kincardine, 164 

Barony of Strathspey, 67 

Bathaich Fiontag, 48 

Beitidh Dhonn Bhoidheach (Oran), 

Beggars — Captain Ferguson, 254 ; 
Eppie Laing, 255 ; Gilbert Stewart, 
254 ; King John. 254 ; Mad Chal- 
mers, 254; Philip O'Sogan, 255 

Beltane. 33 

Birds, 7 

Bishopric of Moray, 88 

Black Beetle, 37 

Black Cap, 14 

Black Cock, 14, 297 

Blackie, J. S., Letter from, 238; 
Visitor, 367 

Bliadhna Bharr-Ghoirid (Short 
Crop), 227 

Bliadhna naPeasarach (Pease-Year), 

Blizzard— Tomintoul Market, 230 

Bodach (Ghairtinn), 53 

Bonnie Wife of Revack (Tune), 281 

Botanical Note, 16 

Brambling, 15 

Bratach Ban, 173 

Bridges, 204 

Bright, John, 370 

Brochs, 128 

Brown, Dr John, 369 

Brown, Harvie, 10 

Brownie, 44 

Browns of Kincardine, 275 

Burag na Lairig (Oran) 40K 

Burning Juniper at (Hiristmas, 35 

Burns, Robert, 318, 365 

Bynack, 274 



C'atlleach-iukn-Clach, 272 

Caillcarh (Soaiton), 324 

Cairngorm, A Day on. 263 ; Slonon, 

o; Tuue, 281 
CairnB and their Traditions, 45 
CainiH aH Memorials, 46 
Caisteal Uranud (Orau). 286 
Callart, 37 

('amen>n8 of Kincardine, 8*2 
Candlemas Bull, 33 
Caoclian, 26 
Caolan, 31 
Capercaile, 11 

Ciirmichael, Lieut .-Colonel, 341,387 
Carn DonuU Ban BhaileH^haolais, 

Carn-na-Feola, 45 
Cafltle on Pytoulish Hill, 128 
CaHtlc Roy, 127 
Cateraus, 217 
Cattle Cured by Fire, 41 
Coannard nan Ceamach, 217 
(Vilinn, 324 
Changelings, 40 
Chapels, W, 379 
Characters . Parish, 250 
Charroal Making, 301 
Charms, 38 

Cheeryble Brothers, 357 
Child Murder, 126 
Claeh Dhion (Shelter Stone), 273 
Christmas Customs. 307 
Christopher North, 190, 367 
Church — Discipline, 122; Services, 

118; State of, 162 
Clachs, 25 
Clamhaii (Kite). 8 
Clan Allan, 84 
Cleek for Floaters. 303 
Cloth Making. 300 
Clouds as Weather signs, 320 
Cock Fights, 308 
Communion Fxtra< ordinary, 118 
Corny ns in Ahernethy, 64 
Cotton (jriiMH, 317 

(.'orp-Creadhna (Corpse Candles). 44) 
Coulnakyle, 15; and its Memories, 

140 • 
CoutMels to Young Men, 237 
Cniigellachie, A Cry from (Shairp). 

Creeper, 298 

Crimes and Peualtieb (Regality 

Court), 14.3 
Crodh-Chailein, 24 
Cromdale — ^a Burjjh, 34:3 
Crot*«-»nll. 15. 36 
Crowley Well, 63, 2a'5 
Cuidhe Crom, 325 
Cull(»den. 178 
Cumha do Bhaintighearua Mhi«- 

an-Toisich, 400 
dimming. Bit lac, 134, i:J5 
Cumming, Miss Gordon, 3 
Cummings, Comyiis, 64, 131. 275 
Cup Marks, 128 

Dallas of Kincardiue, 276 

Dalriadic Scot6, 21 

Dan Spioradail (Grant), 2tKI 

Defamation, 125 

Defence of Raiders, 211 

Deer, 297 

Deer Forest. 225. 28:J 

Deserts of Tulloch (Tune). 281 

Dick Bequest, 2 

Dipper, 13 

Discipline. Church, 122 

Distinguished Career of an Alicr 

nethy Man— ,John Stuart, Lethna- 

chylo - 436 
DihtriU.ition of Plants. 18 
Domhall-mor-bad-an-t-Siau, 52 
Donull Breac. 180 
Dotterel. 15 
Drowning P(M)1, 139 
Dniidical Circles, 46 
Ducks. 14 
Dyeing. 3tM. 

Faglais Tlumihaldidh. 87 

Kiigle, 7 ; Golden, 8 

Kalasaid Cham, 32 

Karldoni of Moray, 66 

Marly Church. 87 

I'^;\rr'ach (Scius.jn), 34, 324 

Kiirth(|Makc Year, 227 

Ki-clcsiastical Buildings (174.3), IH 

Kducation, Free, 112, 380 

Kiry]>tiau Worship. 40 

Klgin Ius1itiiti(»n, 2 

Knctiunler at Hathaich Fiontag. 48 

lOnglish Company in Glenmore, 186 

Episcopacy, 90 



Evil Eye, 39 

Extracts — ^From Old ScsBion Re- 
cords, 114; from Journal of 
Forestry, 295; from Regality 
Books of Grant, 143 

Fairies, 186 

Fair Donald of Ballachulish, 47 

Fairs, 309 

Fairy Thimbles, 318 

Falkirk, Battle of, 173 

Families of Achernack, Gailiubcfj, 

and TuUoch, 8:3 
Faoillteach, 323 
Farmer's Prayer, 27 
Fastern'S E'en, 308 
Fear Ban Bheaglan, 184 
Fear Liath, 194, 381 
Fear na-Casan-Caol, 213 
Feith, 26 
Fencibles, 338 
Feudag, 324 
Fires in Woods, 296 
First Feuivrs in Granlown, 344 
Flittings, 41 
Fl'niUTs, 303 
Fl(»od of '29, 232 
Floods, 228 
Flora, 16 
Folk Lore, 33 
Foregoes, 40 
Forest Fairlies, 292 
Forest Lodge, 9 
Forsyth, James, 111, 2^41 

Mrs, of the Dell (Tune), 
„ Rev. William, 96 

William (Dell), 224, 233, 
,, William {'Aberdeen J<mr- 
nal •). 225, 414, 416. 
Fox, 11 
Foumart, 11 
Eraser, John (Doire), 25 

,, Colonel Malcolm, 241 

William, and Archie Fyfr, 
Fuaran— Bharain, 61 ; F— Ealasaid, 
61 ; F— Ghoile, 60 ; F— Mharcuis. 
Funeral Cairns, 49 
Funerals, 309 
Gaelic and English Songs, 388 

Gaelic Psalm Book with Bloody 

Mark, 180 
Gallows Tree, 139, 140 
Games, 309 
Garten, Loch, 53 
Gearran (Season), 324 
Geology of Parish, 4 
Gildcroy, 217 
Gled (Kite), 8 
Glencairn, Earl of, 12 
Glenmore, 185; Evictions, 189; 
Osbourne and Dodworth, 188; 
Royal Forest, 186; Scene of 
Bard's Incantation, 189 ; Stewarts 
of, 192 
Glenmoriston Grants, 334 
Cilen-Roy Roads, 4 
Goats — Curious Problem, 329 
Goats and Goat Milk, 326 
uobhainn Dubh, 13 
Gobhar-Adhair, 34 
Golden Eagle, 13 
Golden Groves of Abernethy, 198 
Goosander, 15 

Gordon, Benjamin Lumsdcn, 245 
Captain (Revack), 221 
Donald, 284 
James Charles, 244 
Robert, 244 
Gort Righ Uilleam, 226 
Gow, Neil, 250 
Grant, Alan, 48 
„ AUister, 218 

Barbara, of Rynettan, 278 
„ Captain (Birchficld), 224 
„ Captain (Congash), 224, 347 
,, -Daniel, 289 

Donald (DonuU-na-h-Iteag). 
,, Fencibles, 338 
,, Gregory, 347 

History of the Clan, 68 
James (Rivoan), 250 
, . J ames (Seumas-an-Tuini ,217 
,. Lairds of, 68 
„ ** Macalpine," of Rothiemur- 
chus, 351 
Mrs (Laggan), 2t 
Niel. of Glenbroun, 251 
PcUt (Baptist minister). 258, 

President, 369 
Rev. James, 332 



Grant. Rev. John. 21. 98, 140, 202 
„ Rev. William, 97 

Richailleacb, and M Gibbon, 
Tontiri, 46 
.. R«.bort, 2^. 41.1 
,, So jjoant Roy, 253 
,, Sir James, 337, :U*y 
„ Sir John. 12, 218 
Sir Ludovick, :H3 
(»rautown. Academy, 346 
Burgh, :W8 
Fairs, 343 

First FeuaTH in, 34 1 
Grammar School, 388 
Hospital. .'^7 
Rise of, 343 
Grants of Achernack, 84 

,, (ilenmorist4n), 3.'H 
,, Kilgraeton (Glenlochy), 
Ijurg. 85 
Miinchester, 357 
Muckrath, 214 
The Tnmgh, 78 
Grants' Raid to Elgin, 258. 38;i 
(jreat Fires in Forest, 296 
(ireenshank, 15 
Grots Making, 302 
Grouse and Doer. 222 
Grouse Cock, 13 
Gulls. 14 

Ilaldane, James, 267 

Halkit Stirk, The. 219 

Hangman's Hill. 139 

Harvest, 311; H. Home, 312 

iiaughs of Cromdalc, 155 

Hawks. 7 

Heather. 316 

Hedgehog, 9 

Heron, 13 

Highland and Speyside Railways, 

208, 348 
Hinxman. Geological Notes by, 4. 

History of the (Man Grant, 68 
Hobart Pasha, 369 
Holt. Robert D., 36!) 
Holy Mary of Lurg, 132 
Home Life in the Parish, 306 
House of Grant (Song). 285 
Hudson Bay Company, 244, 436 

lan-Dubh-Gearr, 278. .389 

IlIuHtrations— Castle Roy, 129,131 
Colonel Thornton's Monster Pike, 
369: Fa<'-similo of Certificate in 
favour of Rol)ert Stuart. 193: 
Fac-simile Letter from Duke of 
Gordon to James Stewart, 225; 
From Frescoe by Landseer, 349: 
Inchtomacli. 264; Incised Stones, 
Congash, 378, 379; Linn of Inne, 
Bridge of Bn)wn, 372; Memorial 
Stone by "The Men of Duthil." 
i;W; Old Schoolhouse. 110; Peter 
PoH-er (Tree), 295; Robert Grant 
of Lurg, Frontispiece; Sir Jamr^^ 
Grant. 3.37; Tlie Gallows Tree. 
140; The Marquis of Strathspey. 
182; Tlie Shelter St<»ne. Ulen 
Av<»n. 273 ; Weeping Firs, 294 

Imir Thomaldaich. Legend of, 87 

Improvements, 161 

Inbhir, Inver, 22 

Inchtomach, 264 

Incised Stones — Congash, 378 

Innis, 31 

In the Baron's Chair, 164 

Introductory Sketch of the Parish. 1 

•* Inverness Courier " on " The Pas- 
sage of the Spey," 134 

Inverness Merchant of the Olden 
Time. 422 

Iron Mill Croft. 36:^, 386 

Irvine, Rev. Alex., 207 

Ishbel Dhubh, 278, 389 

J oh n More — ( Abernet hy ), 3.'J3 : 
(Oomdale), 331 ; (Rothiemoou). 

John Roy Stewart. 170, 282; Ban- 
ner. \S^: Nephews, 180; Psalm. 
175; Tunc. 281 

JohuHoti, Samuel, 364 

Kilgraston Grants, 84 

Killiecrankie Battle, 155 

Killing of the Mart. 312 

Kincardine Church. 87. 93 

Kincardine (Miurch Tragc»dy, 93 

KingfiHher, 15 

Kirk Session in 1745, 116 

Kirks of Abernethy and Kincardine, 

Knocking Block, 302 



La Buidh Bealtuiu, 324 
Lag-Ghurr, 46 
Lag-nan-Cuimeanach, 58 
" Laimh Dhearg," 52 
Lairds of Grant, 68 
Lauds and Landholders, 64 
Landseer, Sir Edwin, 33 
Lann, 30 
Largest Fir, 294 
Latha Chuilodair (Gran), 392 
Lauder, Sir Thomas D., 235 
Lawson, Captain, 339, 426 
Leanabh Ileach, 41, 377 
Lecht Iron, 200 

Legend of — a Brazen Pot, 36; 
Candlemas Bull, 35; Loch Gar- 
ten, 53; the Black Beetle, 37; 
the Curse, 55 ; the Miracle of the 
Spey, 137; the Spectre of the 
"Bloody Hand." 52, 190; the 
White Serpent, 41; the Wife of 
Laggan. 41 ; the Wild Wife, 41 
Legends as to Treasures, 56 
Legends of Glen more, 289 
Leper Window, 93, 380 
Letter from— Earl of Fife to Lady 
Grant, 161; Dix-inity Student on 
Second Sight, 42; Grant (Heath- 
field), 214; Grant (J .P.) to D. 
Mackintosh, 340; Grant (Man- 
chester), 359; Grant (Corrimony) 
to Sir James Grant, 160; Grant, 
yr. of Grant, to his Factors, 160; 
Lochiel to Sir James Grant, 215 ; 
Mackenzie (Man of Feeling) to Sir 
James Grant, 365; Robertson 
(Lude), 181 ; Rob Roy to Grant of 
Ballindalloch, 216 
Limestone first used, 161 
Linnet, 14 

Local Rat<*8 (1898-9), 38:^ 
Loch— Avon, 273; Garten, 53; Mal- 
laohaidh, 55; Morlich, 52; na- 
h-Ulaidh. 56; Pytoulish, 56 
Lochs and their Legends, 52 
Loss of Soldiers on the Lairg, 228, 
- Loss in Blizzard (1826), 230 
Love Song (Smith), 406 
Lurg— Grants of, 85 ; Holy Mary of, 

Lykwakes, 125 

Macalpinc of Rothiemurchus, 351 
Macdonald, Captain (Coulnakyle), 
15. 157 
James Dawson, 245 
Sir Claude, 157 
William, 110 
William (U ill earn 
Saor), 33 
Macgrcgor, John Dowgar, 279 
Macgregor, Sir Patrick, 242 
Macintyre, James, 184 
Macintyre. Mary, 51 
Mackay and Dundee. 154 
Mackenzie, Henry (Man of Feeling), 

Mackenzie. Murdoch (M-nam-Ban, 

Man-Midwife), 252 
Mackintosh, Peter (Bain), 255 
Madonna's Bush, 35 
Magpies, 7 

Mairi Bhan Gig (Gran), 414 
Malla(4iie, Loch, 55 
Management of the Poor in 1750, 

Marbhadh a Bhodaich, 310 
Marquess' Well, 61, 269 
Marquis of Strathspey, 181 
Martineau, Dr, 369 

Martin, Rev. Donald, 101, 277, 307 

Martins, 13 

Mearad-an-da-Shealladh, 377 

Meg MuUach, 44 

Memorable Years, 226 

Men and Dogs, 416 

Mhuintir mo Gha<il (Tune). 281 

Michael Scott, 41 

Ministers of Abernethy, 96 

Miracle of the Spey, 137 

Missionaries, 367 

Modern Volunteers, 341 

Montrose and Argyle, 153 

Moors and their Rents, 224 

Moray, Earldom of, 66 

Morayshire Floods, 235 

Mores, The Three John, 331 

Mote Hill, 67 

Mullin>Gharrach Burn, 55 

Munro, Major-General, 247 

Murray, Lord George, 178 

Music, Parish, 275 



Nfil Gow. 250 

Now Year's Eve CuHtoiiiH, 3o 

NickuainoH. 219 

"Nijfhean a Uhodaich tuiii Kin- 
ait inn/' 277 

Note* and AppendicoH, .'177 

Notes on — Folk L<»ro. 'Xi: Natural 
History, 7 

Obaidh (Charm). 32 

Objections to Uoads. 2()6 

Oichear Mor, 196 

Oidche dair na Coille, 35 

Oldest Castle in S<H>tland, 127 

Old Highland ArtA aind Induhtrios. 

Old I^itin I^^jrend, 35 
Old Srhoolhouse. 110 
Old SoHsion R*»rord, IH 
Old Statistical Anount. 1(W 
OmenB, 40 

Oren ilo Mhic Alpeiu an Dim, 40l 
Oran Seilg Mhic Alpein, 405 
Orijfins of FamilioH, 78 
Osbonrne, William, 296 
Osbourne and Dodsworth, 18H 
Oh prey, 8 
Otter. 11 
Onr Bards, 282 

Our Halbert (>Iendiniiin{;s, 240 
Ower the Muir aman*; the Heather. 


Parish — Characters, 25(); Musie. 

275: Statistics, 4^)5 
Patron Saints — St (Jeorj^o and St 

Catherine, 94 
Peiise Year. 226 
Peat Charcoal. .301 
Pensioners. 253 
Pereprine, 12 
Peter Porter Tree, 295 
Pibroch of Donuil Dubh, 286 
Pine- Mart en, 11 
Pit and Gallows. 138 
Place Names, 20: Commemorative, 

28; Descriptive, 27: <>n Principle 

of Resemblance, 28 
Plover, 13 
P.ilecat, 11 

Pre-historie Cairns, 45 
Pre-historic Remains, 380 

Presbyt«rianism, 92 

Priest of Finlarig Killed, 214 

Prinee Leopold at Kinrara, 195 

Queen Victoria in Strathspey. 371 
, guern, 302 

Raiding. 215; Inverernan. 218; 

Moyness, 214 
Raid to Elgin, 258, 383 
Rafts. 201 

Rat had nam Mearlach, 212 
Iwaven, 35 

Reel of Tulloch, 278 
Red-pole, 14 

Regrality Court Books. 143. 381 
Rental f»f Abernethy (1817). 431 
Richailleach Cairn, 46 
RintT Ouxel, 13 

Rise of a Highland Village, 343 
Roiuts and Bridges, 204 
Robin, 36 
Robin Oig and the " Laimh 

Dhearg," 5,3 
Roller, 15 

Roll of "Armed Association," 426 
Romanism, 88 

Romans a« Road Makers, 205 
R(M»kery, 15 
Rothiemurchus, 350 
Rowan, 35 

Royal Forest. Olenmore, 186 
Roy, John (last Ban)n), 166 
Roy Stewart. Cohmel John. 170, 

Ruidhle Mor Shra-Spe (Oran), 413 
Ruskin, Letters from. 237, 241. 367 
Rvnettin's Daughter (Strathspey), 

Sabbath-breaking. 124 

Sabbath Schools, 368 

Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 311 

S<^hoo1 Examination , 308 

Schools, 106, 380; in Early Times, 

108: under the Act of 1803. 109: 

Now. Ill 
Schoolmasters, 110, 113 
Scott, Michael, 41 

.. Sir Walter, 189, 192, 211, 
307. 364 



Scraps from an Old ScBsiou Record > 

Sculptured Stones, 90, 379 
Sea Bathing, 312 
Seasons, 323 
Second Sight, 42, 377 
Serpent, The White (Legend), 41 
Seumas-nan-Creacb, 68 
Sguabag (Season), 324 
Shairp, J. C, Letters from, 239, 

367; Craigellachie, 206 
Shaw, Donald, 289 

„ Rev. Lachlan. 7. 10. 113 
Shootings, 157, 224, 368 
Short Crop Year, 227 
Slochd of Bacharn Fray, 213 
Smith, George, 183 
John, 383 
„ Peter, 41 

„ William, 283; Songs, 402 
Snaig, 37 
Snipe, 34 

Snow Bunting, 15, 36 
Social Life of Last Century, 159 
Soldiers Lost on the Lairg. 228 
Songs by — John Roy Stewart, 392 ; 
Robert Grant, 413; William For- 
syth, 414; William Smith, 402 
Spencer, Herbert, 369 
Speyside Railway. 208 
Spinning, 304 
Spoil at Loch Ennich, 213 
Sportsmen, 368 
Squirrels, 7, 9 
Stag-horn Club Moss, 316 
Statistics, Parish, 435 
St Catherine and St George. 94 
Stewart, Bailie John, 422 
Charles, 289 
Donald (Breac), 180 
James (Fear Liath), 193. 

James (Pytoulish), 244 
,, John (Gowrie), 42 

John (Pytoulish), 194, 340 
John Roy (Colonel), 170, 

John Roy (last Baron). 166 
Rev. James, 90, 286 
Robert, 192 

Sir Donald Martin, 246 
Sir Walter, 165 

Stewarts of AthoU, 80 

„ Gleumorc, 192 

Kincardine, 16^ 
Stoat, 11 
Stone Forts, 87 
Story of Barbara who slew Raider, 

Straan-Chameronach, 49 
Strathcona, Lord, 243 
Strathspey— Academy, 346, 388; 

Music, 275; Volunteers, 339 
Stuarts of Lethnachyle (Lainchoil), 

Sun Worship, 33 
Swan, 7 

Tacharans, 37 
Taghan, 11 
Tar Making. 301 
Taylor, the *' Water Poet," 365 
Telford as Road-maker, 207 
" Tha Biodag air Mac Thomais," 277 
The Baron of Brackley Tragedy, 79 
,, Bringing Home of the Deer, 3.3 
,. Cairns and their Traditions, 45 
., Camerons of Kincardine, 82 
,, Cheeryble Brothers, 357 
„ Chief of the Caterans, 217 
,, Days of the Baron Bailies, 138 
„ Doire, 250 

,, Famine of King William, 226 
,, Former or the Present Days!' 

,, Gallows Tree, 140 
,, Golden Groves of Abernethy. 

,, Great Flotni of '29, 232 
,, Grants' Raid to Elgin, 258 
., Highland Maiden's Lament 
(Song), 388 
Kirks of Abernethy and Kin- 
cardine. 87 
,, Lads who were Lost on the 

Hill. 228; Song, 411 
,, Masque of Anarchy, 370 
., Oldest Castle in Scotland, 127 
», Sithean of the Double Outlook, 

,, Story of a Highland Glen. 185 
., Thieves' Road and Incidents 

by the Way, 210 
,, Three John Mores, ;J31 



The Wells and their VViUheries, 60 

,, York Company, 17, 198 
Thornton. Colonel, 368 
Thrush, U 
Tit«, 14, 298 
Tobair, 62 

Torran Mhortaidh, 279 
Traditions of the Origins of 

Families, 78 
Tragedy in Kincardine Churc-h, 93 
Treaaures, Buried, 56 
Tullochgorm, Iligh-nam-Port, 276 
TuUoch— Reel of, 278; Tragedy, 
278, 389 

Uilleam Suor, :33 
Urnuigh Iain Ruaidh, 399 

Visitors to Strathspey, 364 
Volunteering — Old and New, 336 

Wade's Roiuls, 205 

Wars of Mackay and Dundee, VA 

Water lieu, 13 

Water Kelpie, 58 

Wax-wing, 15 

Weather Signs and Saws, 320 

Weddings, 309 

Weeping Firs, 294 

Welcome to the Master of Grant 

(8<jng), 286 
Wells and their Witcheries, 60 
White Banner, 173 
Wild Cats. 7 

Wild Goats as Game, 329 
Wilson, John, 367 
Winds, 321 
WiU^h of Moy, 268 
Wolf, 7 

Wolf of Badenoch, 65 
Wo<id Manufacture, :)03 
Wood-pecker, 8, 37 
Wren. 14, 36 

Years, Memorable. 226 

York Building Company, 17, 198; 

Failure of, 262 
Young Men's Mutual lmpr«»vement 

Society, 237 



Athoi*!*, His Grace the Duke of, Blair Castle, Blair-Atholl. 
ASHER, Ai,BXAND«R, Q.C., M.P., Dean of Faculty. 
AiNSi«iB, Mrs, 10 Churchill, Edinburgh. 
Ai.i,AN, A., Inverness. 

Bai^pour, The Right Hon. Arthur James, M.P., Whittinghame. 

Bain« J., Public Library, Toronto. 

Brown, J. A. Harvie, Dunipace House, Larbert. 

Brown, Wii^i^iam, 26 Princes Street, Edinburgh (2). 

Buchanan, T. R., M.P., 12 South Street, Park Lane, London, W. 

Burgess, A., Banker, Gairloch. 

Butler, Rev. D., M.A., Abernethy, Perthshire. 

Calder, Rev. J., Plean, Bannockbum. 

Cameron, Donated, of Lochiel, Achnacarry, Spean-Bridge. 

Cameron, James, Coulnakyle, Abernethy. 

CAMPBEiyi«, Right Hon. James, M.P., Strath cathro. 

Cawdor, The Right Hon. Lord, Cawdor Castle. 

Clarke, Alexander, Kincardine Cottage, Aviemore. 

Cran, J., Kirkton, Bunchrew. 

CuMMiNG, Grigor, Public School, TuUoch, Aviemore. 

Davidson, Sheriff, Fort-William. 

Dey, a., LL.D., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Glasgow. 

Dey, John, Syracuse, New York. 

Douglas & Foulis, 9 Castle Street, Edinburgh (12). 

DowELL, Alexander, Edinburgh. 

Dunbar-Dunbar, Mrs, Seapark, Forres. 

Dunbar, Mrs, Pytoulish, A\'iemore. 

DuNC\N, Rev. David, The Manse, Kincardine. 

Fife, His Grace the Dake of, Mar Lodge 
FiNDLAY, J. R., 3 Rothesay Terrace, Edinburgh. 
Forsyth, Colonel John, Inverness. 


Forsyth, Jambs, J. P., The Dell, Wolverhampton (lo). 

Forsyth, Wili^iam, Solicitor and Town-Clerk, Grantown^n-Spey. 

Forsyth, Dr John Gordon Asher, Ardross Terrace, Inverness (2). 

Forsyth, Hamish, Buluwayo. 

Forsyth, O. G. Suthkri,and, Shanghai. 

Fraskr, a.. Solicitor. Church Street, Inverness, 

Gordon, Lieut. -General B. Litmsdkn, K.C.B. 

C^ordon, His Grace the Duke of Richmond and. 

Gordon, Gkorge, C.I^.. Inverness. 

Grahamb, General, 4 Portland Place, Bath. 

Grant, John Peter, of Rothiemurchus, The Doune. 

(iRant, George, Crofttnore, .\vieniore. 

CfRANT, Rev. James, M..\., Kilniuir, Skye. 

Grant, Rev. Donai,d. M.A., The Manse, Dornoch. 

(iRANT, John, Banker, Underwood, Grantown-on-Spey. 

Grant, Lewis, Albert Road, Kirkcaldy. 

Hay, Lewis, Achgourish, by Ax-iemore. 
Hir.L, Dr James H. S., 186 Cromwell Road, London. 
Hi 1,1^, Miss, 30 West Cromwell Road, London. 
Holt, Robert D.. Sefton Park, Liverpool. 

JOASS, Dr J., The Manse, Golspie. 

Johnston, George P., 33 George Street, Edinburgh. 

KEti^v, Mrs, 15 Glencairn Crescent, Edinburgh. 

Kyi,i*achy, The Hon. Lord, 6 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh. 

Lawson, Miss, Ivcys Castle, Inverness. 

Macbean, Wiijjam, 1 1 Wall Street, New York. 
Mackintosh, The Mackintosh of, Moyhall, Moy. 
Mackintosh, K. ^\^, of Raigmore {2). 
Mackintosh, Dr Fraser, of Drummoud, Inverness. 
Macconachie, Ai^ex. J., 74 Union Street, Aberdeen. 
M'Cunn. Hamish, 21 .Albion Road, South Hampstead. 
Macdonald, Sir Claide, Iwondon (3). 
Macdonald, Kenneth, Town-Clerk, Inverness, 
Macgii,ijvrav, Finl,ay, Craigwood, Inverness. 
Macgreoor, Charges. D.D., Edinburgh. 
Mack ay, William, Solicitor, Inverness. 
Mackav, IvNEAS, Bookseller, Stirling. 
Mackay, J., •• Celtic Monthly,*' Glasgow (9). 


Mackbnzib, Ai,ex., C.R., Kingussie (3). 

Mackenzie, A. G., Hotel, Nethy-Bridge. 

Mackenzie, Sir Felix, Forres. 

Mackenzie, Wimjam, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh. 

Mackenzie, W. Dalziel, of Farr, Inverness. 

Mackenzie, N. B., Banker. Fort-William. 

MaCPHERvSON, Provost A., Kingussie. 

Maci,ean, J. P., Gran\-ille, Ohio, IT.S.A. 

Macvean, W. M., New York. 

Mitchell, The, Ijbrary, Glasgow. 

Mitchell, Sir Arthtr, K.C.B., 34 Drummond Place, Edinburgh. 

Mitchell, David, 55 Great King Street, Edinburgh. 

Morgan, John, Rubielaw House, Aberdeen. 

Payne, H. A., Forest Lodge. Nethy-Bridge ^2). 
PEDDIE, I)r Alex., 15 Rutland Street, Edinburgh. 

Ritchie, William, 6 Margaret Road, Edinburgh. 
RosEBERY, The Right Hon. the Earl of, K.G., Dalineny. 

vSeafield, The Right Hon. the Countess Dowager of, Castle Grant. 

Skllar, Mrs, 17 Glencairn Crescent, Edinburgh. 

Scott, The Very Rev. .Archibald, D.D., Edinburgh. 

Shaw, John, S.S.C, 8 vSeton Place, Edinburgh. 

Sheriff, James, Coulnakyle, Nethy-Bridge. 

Stamford, The Countess of, Bradgate Park, Leicester (2). 

Strathcona, Lord, and Mount Royal, 53 Cadogan Square, London, 

S.W. (3). 
Steele, Andrew, M.A., The Schoolhouse, Abemethy. 
Stevenson, G., 4 Portland Place. Bath. 
Sutherland, The Duchess of, Dunrobin Castle. 
Stuart, David, J. P., Balliemore, Abernethy. 
Stuart, John, hi New Bond Street, London. 
vStewart, Field-Marshal vSir Donald Martin, K.C.B., Chelsea. 
Stewart, Mrs, Huntly Lodge, Inverness. 

Thomson, A. S. D., -\dvocate, 7 Abercromby Place. Edinburgh. 
Thomson, H., ii Victoria Terrace, Inverness. 

Watson, James, Bookseller, Elgin (7). 

Westgarth, Mrs, 10 Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, London. 

WiNNi Miss, The Old Place, Sleaford, LincolnslCire. 

Wordie, Peter, Lenrie. / 

Wvi^iE, D., & Son, Booksellers, 247 Union slreet, Aberdeen.